Apple TV’s much-anticipated next model already has customers excited. Now, new details have emerged about what Apple TV 2015 will look like—including big changes to a key piece of hardware—and what it will do differently than the current version.
Apple TV rumors have been flying for several months now, heating up especially after Apple reduced the price of its device to $69 from $99. Talk has centered around if/when the next model of Apple’s popular media streaming device will hit shelves. Plus, of course, what features will be added or removed.
Now, the “if” has become a definitive “when.” It’s clear that the next version of Apple’s set-top box is in development. It is expected to be released in June, at the World Wide Developers Conference.
The timing of Apple TV 2015’s release will correspond nicely to the launch of Apple’s new TV streaming service. The service is also currently in development, and should be unveiled in September. While separate offerings, the two will mesh nicely, giving TV fans and anyone interested in cutting the cable cord a solid alternative to traditional paid-TV subscriptions.
New features for Apple TV
One big change customers will see in the next Apple TV model will be to the device’s smaller accessory—the remote. The current Apple TV remote has engendered love-hate feelings from users. It’s design is pure Apple minimalism, which users find to be be either simple and sleek, or frustrating.
The New York Times is reporting that the next Apple TV remote feature a touchpad for scrolling and searching. Two push buttons will remain on the remote. It will also be a bit thicker than the current version, making it less likely to slip between couch cushions.
In addition to the included remote, users will also be able to control the next Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
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The new Apple TV will also have more memory and a faster processor—a direct attempt to compete with Amazon Fire TV, currently the fastest media streaming device. Access to the iTunes store and Apple app store will also be streamlined.
Perhaps the biggest new feature to grace the next model will be its available content. The 2015 Apple TV is expected to run Apple’s planned TV streaming service. The TV service will reportedly stream 20 to 25 popular channels like FX and ESPN.
Recently, Apple TV made great strides in giving users access to watch live sports. Sports has been a final holdout of traditional TV, and a deal-breaker for many would-be cord cutters. But with the NBC Sports Extra app joining the Apple TV sports lineup—along with apps for major US sports leagues and events including baseball, hockey, basketball and more—the selection will have sports fans cheering.
Apple TV also does a standout job of tapping in to local TV coverage. Other media streaming devices don’t offer the same level of local access, giving Apple another leg up.
If the company can get Apple TV 2015 in stores before its major competitors release their next models—especially the eagerly awaited Roku 4 which could debut as early as late summer or early fall—then it’s sure to lure many new customers.