aTV Flash (black) for Apple TV 2 is no longer in beta: FireCore has finally released version 1.0 of its flagship product – a suite of applications to enhance the 2nd generation Apple TV. aTV Flash (black) features all-new Media Player, WebKit based browser, Last.fm radio, Weather, RSS feeds and gives you fast access to plugins like nitoTV, Remote HD, XBMC and Plex client. All new features are installed alongside the normal Apple TV features, so things like movie rentals, Netflix, and AirPlay will remain unchanged.
Your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have been generously updated by Apple with over 200 new features yesterday, and the Cupertino-based company didn’t forget about its “hobby device”. Apple released the Apple TV 4.4 software update, which adds Photo Stream, AirPlay mirroring, NHL live games, Wall Street Journal news, support for subtitles in Netflix, new movie trailers section and some new slideshow themes.
Apple TV 2 software has been updated to version 4.2 (iOS 4.3), which brings new capabilities to those tiny black boxes that are still not jailbroken or are ready to lose the jailbreak. MLB.TV and NBA Game Time are now available as streaming content options, AirPlay has been updated to support video from iOS apps and websites and the support for Dolby Digital 5.1 on Netflix has been added (the full list of new features is below).
As you already know, if you don’t want to lose your jailbreak (and all the apps/plugins/add-ons you’ve already installed) you can’t update. But if you have SHSH blobs saved you can update to 4.2, check out the new features and then decide whether you stay with these ones or you prefer to go back to your old jailbreakable 4.1.1 (iOS 4.2.1) to enjoy some other great features it offers (XBMC, Hulu, aTV Flash and many more).
And here it comes: Apple TV 4.2.1 software update is now available! It brings a support for AirPlay, a new feature that lets you stream movies, music or photos (and who knows what else!) from any iOS device running iOS 4.2 (also released today), Macs or PCs running iTunes 10 to your TV via the Apple TV. The new update also comes with VoiceOver support for spoken menus and meta data. NetFlix on atv is now Voice Over accessible too. Here is a video showing how the VoiceOver works on the new Apple TV.
“We’ve sold a lot of them but it’s never been huge hit,” Jobs said last week. How could we not agree: Apple TV wasn’t a game changer for the living room. But hey, there are hundreds thousands of users completely satisfied with the existing ATV (according to the analysts, Apple might have sold 3 million Apple TV devices worldwide) and most of them never even thought of hacking this mysterious box! That’s why here at Apple TV Hacks, we think Steve has figured it out very well: what the average customer wants from his/her HDTV in the living room is to play latest movies, popular TV shows, family vacation photo slideshow and maybe some music from time to time. We, geeks, need more, that’s obvious, and that’s why we are so disappointed with the new device. The only thing we can do now is to try to squeeze as much as we can out of this hockey puck when we put our hands on it sometime at the end of September.
But before that happens, let’s focus on what we know about the second generation Apple TV so far.
There was one more thing coming at the end of Steve’s show today and this time it was one more HOBBY… The new Apple TV is here! This tiny matte-black box (80% smaller than the previous generation) will stream HD (720p) movies for $4,99 and commercial free TV shows for 99 cents (ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America are on board; all rentals, no purchases) and your Netflix content if you are a subscriber. It has HDMI, Ethernet, USB and optical audio ports, Bluetooth and dual band WiFi (802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5GHz). There will be no local storage. AirPlay – the new feature that will come with iOS 4.2 in November – will let you to stream movies from any iOS device to your HDTV through the Apple TV. It will be shipping within 4 weeks for the “breakthrough “ price of just $99.