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App Store on Apple TV: why this is a long overdue launch

App Store on Apple TV: why this is a long overdue launch

Apple TV has long been the overlooked cog in the Cupertino machine.

Billed by Apple itself as a ‘hobby product’, it has gone from neat TV solution to also-ran in the space of a couple of years.

And the reason? Its complete lack of a decent app ecosystem.

Fortunately, that looks as if it’s all set to change.

apple tv screen

According to a new report from Buzzfeed, Apple is plotting a new version of its set top box, with headline support for Siri and the App Store.

This is so long overdue it’s almost embarrassing.

Google’s Android TV offers access to its Play Store, while Amazon’s Fire TV serves up games and apps for a knockdown price.

Why buy a £99 Apple TV that offers iTunes, Netflix and a host of second-rate tools when you can get way more, for way less?

Bringing versions of smartphone apps to Apple TV makes total sense, not least because Apple has the most secure and trusted app ecosystem out there.

amazon fire tv for page top

Smart TVs are gaining traction, but the idea of an Apple offering, backed up by some of the best mobile gaming titles in the business, is hugely alluring.

The really interesting stuff should focus on how iOS kit such as the iPhone and iPad interacts with the Apple TV.

There’s talk of controlling kit like kettles and toasters that use Apple’s new HomeKit standard.

Could the Apple TV act as some kind of hub for all this kit, with the iPhone used as a controller?

It’s certainly one approach we’d like to see.

iphone remote

Beyond the arrival of apps such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD, the change in the Apple TV’s use points again to a wider move to break things out from the iPhone and the iPhone alone.

The Apple Watch is already showcasing ways to utilise your phone’s smarts without having to actually get it out of your pocket.

Putting apps and full Siri control on your telly via a new Apple TV shows that Tim Cook and co want to do the same in your living room.

Siri with iPhone 4S on hand

There’s a long way to go. Any new product isn’t due to be shown off until Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference event in June.

And seeing as it’s likely to be a core part of iOS 9, that could mean we won’t see a new Apple TV on shelves until autumn.

Apple is late to the party again, but this time it has some real catching up to do.

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