Two hacks capable of exploiting Apple products have recently surfaced. Plexconnect allows the Plex media player client to run on Apple TV without jailbreaking the device. While an iOS Plex app has been available, this new hack puts Plex on the Apple TV with nothing more than a brief connection between the Apple TV and a computer, thanks to a trick that re-routes the Trailers application to a different web address. Apple will likely respond quickly to patch this exploit.
Another Apple hack comes through a phone charger and exploits iOS devices. Researchers from Georgia Tech claim to have developed an accessory that can invisibly install malware on a device running the newest version of iOS. The malicious charger is built around a $45 open-source single-board computer, and it can allegedly compromise an iOS device in less than a minute. Researchers plan on revealing the charger at July’s Black Hat security conference; it’s unclear whether the charger uses a Dock Connector or Lightning interface. [via 9to5Mac, Forbes]
CW announced its TV Now app will be coming to Apple TV. Much like the Xbox and mobile TV Now apps, the Apple TV app will offer full episodes of ad-supported CW shows the day after airing.
No cable authentication will be required to watch the shows. TV Now will be the first network television app on Apple TV — it’s reportedly set to launch sometime “in the coming weeks.” [via Deadline, MacRumors]
A small number of third-generation Apple TVs have known Wi-Fi issues, and Apple has started a replacement program for these affected units. Apple has determined replacements can be offered free of charge for up to two years after the device’s purchase date.
The Wi-Fi issues include: cannot locate network, unable to join network, and dropped or intermittent connection. If the last four letters of the serial number are DHRN, and the third and fourth characters of the serial number match one of the included pairs, the Apple TV is eligible for replacement. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple has released Apple TV software version 5.2.1 for Apple TV.
The update notably features a redesigned Hulu Plus app, now sporting a horizontal bar and banner-based navigation design closer to the iTunes Store access points on the Apple TV, as well as various bug fixes. It’s available now from the General settings menu of the Apple TV interface.
New photographs show that the new, tweaked Apple TV has kept the same box and Apple part number as the previous iteration of the device — a somewhat unusual decision by the company, given that the model number has changed from A1427 to A1469. Notably, the box still makes references to AirPlay mirroring with the iPhone 4S and iPad; newer devices, such as the iPhone 5, iPod touch 5G or iPad mini, are not referenced.
A report from Anandtech notes that the new Apple TV uses significantly less power than the previous version. “Overall the power savings seem to be around 800mW across the board,” the report claims. Previous reports have noted that Apple is using a new version of the 32nm single-core A5 chip in this Apple TV — a smaller design with no other obvious performance changes.
An earlier claim that an updated Apple TV would contain Apple’s A5X processor has been refuted by a recent teardown of the device. The tweaked Apple TV instead houses a smaller version of the Apple’s A5 chip, believed to be a 28-nanometer version of the prior design, a component that likely consumes less power and certainly less space while performing the same tasks as before. Originally spotted as Apple TV3,2 in iOS 6.1, this tweaked Apple TV does not feature any notable changes for users, according to Apple. [via MacRumors]
Update: Chip experts at Chipworks have discovered that despite the A5 billing, the chip is a new 32nm design, and not just a 28nm shrink of the earlier design. That Apple would develop another, smaller version of the A5 and test it inside the otherwise unchanged Apple TV suggests that it plans to use the chip in future devices. [via MacRumors]
Update x2: A further update suggests that the new chip has been designed to include only a single ARM CPU core, rather than the previous design, which contained two cores, one of which was disabled. [via MacRumors]
The India version of Apple’s web site is now showing a live page for Apple TV as the set-top box launches in the country. Various reports are listing slightly different prices in rupees for Apple TV, but it appears that the cost will be roughly $150. Apple TV can also be found in the iPod section of India’s online Apple Store, though there is currently no option to buy online. [via BGR India]
HBO has announced that the cable network’s apps are now able stream from an iPhone or iPad to Apple TV via Airplay, thanks to updates to the HBO Go app and Cinemax MAX Go app. Kessler confirmed that HBO Go will become directly available through Apple TV in the future, as was reported earlier this month; no date was specified. [via AllThingsD]
Apple is negotiating to carry Time Warner’s HBO Go app on Apple TV by mid-year, according to a report. HBO subscribers would have access to more than 600 hours of TV shows and movies on Apple TV. There are already HBO Go apps for iPad and iPhone, but this would be the first Apple TV app requiring pay-TV authentication. [via Bloomberg]
An Apple spokesman has taken the unusual step of speaking about an apparently unreleased new product, dampening expectations that the company will modify both the inside and outside of the upcoming Apple TV refresh. According to The Next Web, Apple says that the new Apple TV is only an internal upgrade with a new model number, refuting an earlier report of a slightly smaller chassis based on published FCC documents. “We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval,” said the Apple spokesperson. “The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.”
Apple TV 3,2 is a “mid-season refresh,” and believed to feature the A5X processor and the Broadcom BCM4334 wireless chip. The report speculates that the apparent several-millimeter size difference was based on measurement of the new unit without its external shell.
A fourth-generation Apple TV with slightly smaller dimensions has been revealed in a recent Federal Communications Commission filing. The device, which appears to be the Apple TV3,2 discovered in iOS 6.1, features a length and width of 93.78 mm, compared to the current model’s 98 mm. A new model number, A1469, is also spotted on the illustration of the device. Another report notes the new device uses one antenna instead of two, and also is likely to contain a different A5X processor. Bluetooth 4 continues to be inside, as does 802.11a/b/g/n support, without support for the latest 802.11ac standard. [via Engadget, Anandtech]
Apple today released Apple TV software version 5.2 for the second- and third- generation streaming media players. Arriving alongside iOS 6.1, the update brings enhanced support for iTunes in the Cloud, the addition of the Up Next feature introduced in iTunes 11, and long-awaited Bluetooth keyboard support. Apple notes that the Apple TV can now be controlled by Bluetooth wireless keyboards—the first official feature to unlock Bluetooth hardware that sat unused in the devices up until now.
As with all Apple TV software, version 5.2 can be downloaded directly from the Apple TV’s Settings > General menu.
Additionally, a third version of the update was released, for the yet-unannounced AppleTV3,2. The second- and third-generations are denoted as AppleTV2,1 and AppleTV3,1, respectively. It’s not clear what this new hardware entails, or when it may be coming. Notably, MacRumors suggests it may be an international model.
Apple today released iOS 6.1, the newest version of the mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Weighing in at 107 MB, the update can be installed over the air or by connecting to iTunes.
According to the release notes, the update adds LTE support for an additional 36 iPhone and 23 iPad LTE carriers, the ability to purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri, individual song downloads from iCloud for iTunes Match subscribers, and a new button to reset the Advertising Identifier. Interestingly, using Fandango to purchase tickets requires you to have separately downloaded Fandango’s app. An Apple TV update based upon iOS 6.1 was released simultaneously.
A mock-up page found on office supply company Staples’ website briefly advertised the Apple TV for half off, according to a new report, leading to speculation that the retail chain will start selling Apple products—most likely without such aggressive discounting. Other temporary product pages included references to adapters, Lightning adapters, EarPods, and iPad Smart Cases and Smart Covers.
Since the initial report, the test pages have apparently been removed by Staples, but screenshots show the mock-ups. Staples has not carried Apple’s product line, reportedly due to issues in acquiring products from Apple itself. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple TV has added an app for Watchever video service in Germany, according to reports. Watchever is a Netflix-style streaming video service that offers movies and TV series for a monthly fee. This is the first time Apple has added a service to Apple TV that is only available internationally, with the service limited to one country — in this case, Germany. It raises the possibility that Apple could add more smaller, more regional services to Apple TV going forward. [via The Next Web]
The newest Apple TV beta features a Bluetooth menu, and allows wireless keyboards to pair to the second- and third-generation Apple TV, 9to5Mac reports. While Bluetooth chips have been found in Apple TV units since the second-generation model, the hardware capability has been left unsupported by the device’s software. Rumors have suggested that Bluetooth support would be added in an update, however, it has never actually surfaced. With the new beta, users can control the Apple TV without the included remote by using a wireless keyboard, including typing and arrow keys for navigation — however, the update does not yet allow for pairing Bluetooth speakers, a mouse, or Macs.
For the first time, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly hinted that Apple might be taking active steps towards making a television set, according to quotes from an NBC News interview with Brian Williams. “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook said, using language that moves beyond Apple’s gentler prior “hobby” and “pulling the string” descriptions of its TV-related initiatives. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.” While it’s possible that Cook was speaking about the existing Apple TV, it would be curious to allude to an existing product in such a way; at the very least, Cook’s comments could suggest a major push, update, or redesign for Apple TV. Cook’s full interview on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” airs at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight.
Alongside iTunes 11 and an updated iOS Remote app, Apple today released Apple TV software version 5.1.1 for the second- and third- generation streaming media boxes.
It initially appears that this update is for compatibility purposes only. As with all Apple TV software, version 5.1.1 can be downloaded directly from the Apple TV’s Settings > General menu.
Some Apple TV users are reporting that a recent software update is removing functionality from their set-top boxes. An Apple Support Communities thread with more than 28,000 views and 230 replies highlights the issues — a software update for the second-generation and third-generation Apple TVs is causing a number of reported problems. Some users can’t connect to their network after the update, while others are losing functionality entirely, as the Apple TV displays a blinking light while the TV screen stays black. A number of users are downgrading their software to restore functionality. Apple TV software version 5.1 was released on Sept. 24; the support thread started on Sept. 25. [via Apple Insider]
Apple’s special event at 1PM Eastern today will stream live on Apple TV, as indicated by a new Apple Events icon that is now appearing on the Apple TV home screen.
Apple TV users can click to watch the event, which will introduce the iPad mini and other products. Updated: The event will also stream live on Apple’s website, where it will be viewable via computers, tablets, and pocket devices.