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Apple TV expands search options in US, other countries gain networks and Apple Music support

Apple TV has added some new networks to its universal search, provided users have the network’s app installed. U.S. users can now search for movies and shows from BBC America, Classix, and Oxygen, while Canadian users have gained CBC, Classix, Treehouse, FXNOW Canada, and ICI Tou.tv. Sweden and Norway gain support for Viaplay, and Australian users will see searches include 9Now, SBS, and Tenplay. The company also extended support for Apple Music searches beyond the U.S. and Canada, adding Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.

Apple releases third developer betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 + watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a third set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for all three platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas. Apple also released public betas for iOS and tvOS for those in the Apple Beta Software Program.

Apple releases second developer betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 + watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a second set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for all three platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

Apple hiring editor to curate live sports content, developing AR technology for MLB

Apple is making a push into the sports world on multiple fronts, posting a job opening for a sports editor “to lead content curation and programming for the recently-announced live sports feature in the Apple TV app.” Unsurprisingly the post is looking for someone who lives and breathes sports of all kinds and has extensive experience in all aspects of the television business. The new live TV features coming down the pipe with tvOS 11 include on-screen notifications for games and all kinds of tracking abilities for fans, but direct deals with the sports leagues that are streaming the content will still be necessary for access to live events.

Apple releases tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 to the public

Alongside today’s iOS 11 release, Apple has made tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 available to all users. The tvOS update isn’t quite as flashy as its iOS counterpart, but it does add some cool new features like automatic Dark Mode, iCloud home screen syncing, support for the new AirPlay 2 protocol and tweaks to the interfaces of the Computers, HomeKit and Music apps to streamline the experience. Music also gets an update in watchOS 4, adding support for storing multiple playlists on the Watch itself, as well as automatically saving music from the paired iPhone to the Apple Watch based on a user’s listening habits.

TV app lands on Apple TV in new countries ahead of tvOS 11; Apple Pay Cash won’t launch with iOS 11

Apple’s TV app has started popping up on Apple TVs outside the US ahead of today’s tvOS 11 release, with users in Canada and Australia reporting they gained access overnight, although some said the app was present but not yet functioning in tvOS 10. Apple also claims that the TV app will arrive in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK by the end of the year, but another feature put on display during last week’s Keynote won’t be making it out today. The Apple Pay Cash feature in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 won’t be coming until “this fall” according to Apple’s latest update. Once functional, the feature will allow users to send cash payments through Messages or command Siri to issue a payment from a credit or debit card stored in Wallet.

4K Movies begin appearing on iTunes

Apple has begun offering a number of movie titles in 4K HDR ahead of next week’s Apple TV 4K, identify by a “4K” designation where “HD” was previously shown, as well as a “Dolby Vision” logo. In addition to selling content in 4K for the same price as other HD content, Apple has promised that users who have previously purchased HD versions of titles that are now available in 4K will be able to download or stream the 4K version at no additional cost.

iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 + Apple TV 4K Now Available for Preorder

Apple began accepting pre-orders for its new iPhone 8, Apple Watch, and Apple TV models today, with the online store re-opening at 12:01 AM Pacific time. In contrast to prior years, where high-demand models sold out in minutes, most products remain available for in-store “Reserve and Pickup” for Sept. 22, with shipping delivery dates only having slipped to “1–2 weeks.”  While it’s possible Apple may simply have more units available this year, it also seems likely that many of the early adopters — those users most likely to be up at 3 AM placing a pre-order — are in fact waiting for the iPhone X, which will not be available for pre-order until Oct. 27.

Apple to expand ‘TV’ app to seven additional countries, add Live Sports

In addition to today’s announcement of the Apple TV 4K, Apple also announced that it will be expanding its ‘TV’ app to seven additional countries over the next few months, beginning with Australia and Canada, as well as adding Live Sports and Live News section to the TV app, integrated with providers such as ESPN.

Apple announces Apple TV 4K, new 4K content coming to iTunes

Today during its fall event, Apple also announced Apple TV 4K, an upgrade to its set-top box that provides support for 4K resolution across the board as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. The new Apple TV 4K includes an A10X processor — the same as that found in the iPad Pro — that promises double the CPU performance and four times the GPU performance of the prior-generation Apple TV.

LTE Apple Watch will share phone number with iPhone; new Apple TV may have A10X chip, 3 GB RAM

While the “iPhone X” is getting most of the attention ahead of tomorrow’s Apple event, the company is also expected to launch an LTE Apple Watch, 4K Apple TV and new set of AirPods tomorrow as well. The latest firmware leaks seem to indicate that the LTE Apple Watch will still be dependent on the user having an iPhone cellular plan, with 9to5Mac reporting the device will use the same phone number as the iPhone to make calls. That means incoming calls from the same number can be answered from either the iPhone or the Apple Watch after the user completes the setup process, falling short of some long shot hopes that the Apple Watch would be a completely standalone device. It’s still unclear what the additional cost will be to add the Apple Watch to an iPhone’s cellular plan, but the code suggests carriers may initially offer free or reduced-cost plans to get the Apple Watch on as many arms as possible, including references to a “preinstalled” carrier plan.

Apple continues to expand video content team with four more Hollywood execs

Apple is continuing to expand its video content team with the hiring of four more Hollywood executives, Variety reports. Not surprisingly, most of the new hires are veterans from Sony Pictures Television, following on from Apple’s hiring of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony in June. The new executives include Kim Rozenfeld who previously headed up current programming at Sony Pictures Television and will be joining Apple as the future head of current programming and the lead executive responsible for documentary series development. Max Aronson and Ali Woodruff are also coming from Sony to join Apple as “development executives,” previously serving as VP of Drama development and Director of Creative Affairs, respectively. Rozenfeld, Aronson, and Woodruff will report to Erlicht and Van Amburg, while the last member of the new team, Rita Cooper Lee, comes from a role as head of publicity for WGN America and will lead communications for the new video unit, reporting to Tom Neumayr, Senior Director of App Store, Apple Music and Apple TV PR.

Apple Events app gets update ahead of Sept. 12 keynote

Apple has updated its Apple TV Events app with a listing for its September 12 event — the first to be held at the new Steve Jobs Theater. As previously reported, at 10 a.m. Pacific time that day Apple is expected to reveal its new iPhones — including the tenth-anniversary iPhone 8/Edition — alongside a new 4K Apple TV and a cellular-capable Apple Watch. Apple TV owners will be able to stream the event through the Events app, and as always Apple will live stream the event on its website.

Apple strengthening push into Hollywood content with eye on iconic studio, bid on high-profile drama

Apple appears to be strengthening its push into producing original content, with the Financial Times reporting that the company is looking to an iconic Hollywood studio as the base for its original content division and bidding against companies such as Netflix on rights to a new high-profile drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Apple sends out press invites for Sept 12 event at Apple Park

As expected, Apple has sent out media invites for its annual fall event, being held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the Steve Jobs Theatre at the company’s new Apple Park campus in Cupertino. As usual, the media invites include a sneak peek at the theme of the event, along with a tagline which this time simply reads “Let’s meet at our place.” Unlike prior media invites, the tagline is most likely just a direct reference to the venue for the event as opposed to a cryptic clue to what Apple will be announcing.

Apple receives an Emmy for Siri Integration on Apple TV

Apple has received an 2017 Technical / Engineering Achievement Emmy Award in the category of Contextual Voice Navigation for Discovering and Interacting with TV Content for the company’s Siri voice integration on the fourth-generation Apple TV. The award was given to Apple alongside Comcast, Universal Electronics, and Nuance Dragon TV.

Amazon Prime tvOS app may not launch until after Apple’s September event

According to Recode, Amazon’s Apple TV app may not be ready in time for it to debut alongside the new 4K Apple TV next month. Although Apple only said it would be coming “later this year” when it announced Amazon Prime for the tvOS platform, many assumed it would be logical for Amazon to have the app ready to rollout for September’s event, particularly with Apple expected to debut a new Apple TV. The latest information from Recode, included as a footnote to an article discussing today’s earlier news about 4K content, indicates simply that its sources “say the app may not be live in time for next month’s product launch,” although it’s unclear if this actually represents any change to Amazon’s plans for launching the Amazon Prime tvOS app.

WSJ confirms a 4K Apple TV is coming, Apple and Hollywood struggling with pricing for content

Apple and Hollywood studios are once having difficulty coming to terms for movie distribution, this time concerning pricing for the offering of 4K “Ultra-HD” content on the iTunes Store. Confirming rumours of a new 4K-capable Apple TV, a new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Apple has been “scrambling” to strike deals with the studios to ensure content is available on the new set-top box when it’s expected to launch next month. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple has met resistance from the Hollywood studios in terms of what should be an acceptable price at which to offer ultra-HD content, with Apple pushing to sell movies at a standard price of $19.99 — the same price the company currently charges for new release HD movies — while Hollywood studios want to add a $5 to $10 premium for higher-definition 4K content.

Apple releases eighth developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released an eighth set of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, continuing to address a number of issues in the prior developer previews as we inch closer to their expected release next month. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will also likely follow within the next day or so.

iOS 11 beta shows Control Center interface, new swipe gestures; tvOS 11 beta hints at 4K video

New betas have been released for iOS 11, tvOS 11 watchOS 4 and macOS 10, and developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered a couple of gems amid all the bug fixes and minor improvements. In ios 11, Rambo found one video that seems to show off a new swipe-up gesture used to activate the iOS app switcher and another that runs through changes to the lock screen interface. Swiping down brings the lock screen up from anywhere in the operating system, and while a left swipe still brings up the device’s widgets, a right swipe now seems to bring up the phone’s Control Center instead of activating the camera as it does in iOS 10. Swiping up from the bottom — which activated the Control Center in iOS 10 — now turns on the iOS app switcher, which previously was accessed by a home button double tap or by swiping right after pressing down on the left edge of the screen; the latter method has already been removed from iOS 11

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