In an interview with Skype’s Halina Mugame, Brandon Holland, the developer of the upcoming Skype plugin for the Apple TV, mentioned that he will release his long-awaited plugin to the public today (February 1st, 2008).
Some of us have already caught a glimpse of the upcoming plugin in action when he published a video of it on his web site.Â We just can’t wait.
One minor complaint about Brandon’s interview with Skype.Â At the end of the interview, he thanked Awkward TV, Alan Quatermain and God, which we are all in favor.Â But what about us, Brandon?Â We’re the one promoting your work everywhere for you.
Just kidding, Brandon.Â Anyway, all of us are looking forward to your plugin.
Oh, the wait is so painful.Â Why, oh, why, Apple.Â You don’t just announce this on the day of the two-week mark you promised.Â You should have told us last week or at least a day or two earlier.
Anyhow, two weeks is it, Apple.Â If you don’t deliver in two week, then………Â Â I’ll just keep waiting.Â Well, what else can I do?
In the mean time, I’ll be waiting here in the corner until you come knockin’, OK?
Brandon just posted a video demo of his Skype plugin.Â Using a Skype USB headset, he was able to make calls to the Skype test service as well as using SkypeOut to call to his cell phone.Â Very impressive, Brandon.
One important note I gathered from watching the video, you need to first install Skype on to the Apple TV before you can actually use the plugin.
At the end of the video, Brandon promises to get the plugin done in “maximum one week”.Â Let’s see the video was posted on January 24th (Thursday) so that the latest should be by the last day of January.Â Brandon, we’re holding you to it.
O, Brandon Holland, how we “heart” you.
Yep, the Canadian teen that brought us the wireless keyboard hack and the GPS plugin is at it again. This time he’s bringing us a Skype plugin for the Apple TV.
You may have seen our post on getting Skype for OS X to run on the Apple TV using Application Loader. However, the one that Brandon is working on is going to be a plugin native to the Apple TV.
Here is his email to us:
Hey Apple TV Hacks, I have started developing a Skype Plugin that will utilize the Skype API and make the user able to make calls and send text messages to anyone on there Skype contact list. As far as calls go, I think a standard usb headset or usb phone will work. Text messages will most likely be entered using the remote and the standard text entering method. No release yet, but I will release a beta as soon as it is able to make calls. Huzzah!
Huzzah to you too, Brandon. Thanks for all your contributions, Brandon. We look forward to seeing that plugin. Anymore plugins from you and we’ll have to start a Brandon Holland fan club.
Oh, come to think of it, you might want to wait until the software update first though. I have the feeling that the new update will not play well with your Skype plugin (or any other plugin for the matter).
Several of you have asked if the existing hacks are going to be wiped out once the software update is in place.Â My simple answer would be “most likely”.
It is my impression that the new software/firmware update will be based on Leopard as opposed to Tiger like on the current hardware.Â The core files from the two operating systems are not compatible with each other.
Even if the update is not based on Leopard, it is still very likely (read definitely) that the update will wipe out any modification to the Apple TV first before installing a new set of files.Â There is no reason for Apple not to do this because it wants the Apple TV to be in a known state first before it updates.Â Without doing so, the update might not be successful.
That’s just my two cents.
Steve Jobs has announced the new Apple TV at MacWorld in San Francisco. Here are the keypoints:
â€¢ No computer required. You can rent movies direct from the Apple TV through the new iTunes rentals.
â€¢ You can watch and listen to video and audio podcasts directly through the interface.
â€¢ You can few photos from Flickr and .Mac
â€¢ DVD and High-Def available.
â€¢ Music can also be purchased direct to the Apple TV.
â€¢ Same features for synching as available previously, including synching content purchased on the Apple TV.
â€¢ * It is a FREE SOFTWARE update for the existing Apple TV! *
â€¢ This free update will be available in 2 weeks
A few details about the iTunes rentals:
â€¢ All major studios on board!
â€¢ Titles will be available at 30 days after the DVD release
â€¢ Over 1000 titles.
â€¢ Library titles will be $2.99.
â€¢ New titles will be $3.99.
â€¢ HD titles will be $3.99.
â€¢ You can order then you have 30 days to start watching
â€¢ Once started you have 24 hours to complete viewing the movie.
Steve Jobs showed a demo on stage of ordering a movie on stage. It started playing pretty much right away, and looked very impressive.
A price drop for the Apple TV entry model was also announced, from $299 to $229.
This should hopefully give the Apple TV a big boost and bring in into the ‘mainstream’ of Apple’s products. However, a question we will have to wait to be answered is whether this software update will in anyway disable current hacks.
We’ll have more details as they become available…