Gizmodo reports that iPhone developer Steven Troughton-Smith has found out that iOS apps can be “easily” installed on the new Apple TV. He discovered that “if you give an app a UIDeviceFamily of 3 it will install on it when signed.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean we can run our apps on the new atv right now: according to Steven, “while you can install apps after modifying its type, you just can’t launch them – there’s no built-in facility to do that.” Someone has to find out how to do this but we don’t expect it will take long.
Steven also has some interesting thoughts on how developers are going to write apps. “The only option I see is UIKit,” he says. “UIKit is familiar to all iOS developers, is very Cocoa-like, and very powerful. In fact, since iOS 3.2, 1280×720 is a supported resolution for developers, mainly for those creating TV-out UIs in iPad apps. Developers have already started crafting ten-foot-UI experiences in existing iOS apps, so it would be a no-brainer for that to translate over to AppleTV wholesale.”
According to him, to make it work, Apple would have to build remote control support into iOS. “But hold on a second, Apple already added that in iOS 4! Effectively, all the pieces are in place to build a remote-control driven 720p iOS app. All Apple needs to do is build the distribution mechanism and open the floodgates, and ‘Universal’ apps would be a definite possibility,” he concludes.