Once again an Apple patent is under the microscope, as Apple Insider caught up with an application submitted by the Cupertino engineers. Titled “Browsing Remote content using a native interface”, it re-imagines how the remote app works with Apple TV.
Instead of the mere navigation buttons in the current remote app, the proposed UI would be a dynamic one. It shows a menu of icons corresponding to your Apple TV channels, which you can browse through and select the favorite ones to stream.
Once the content stars playing, Apple TV sends meta info like trivia, cast, credits, etc. to the app, which can be enjoyed by the user. If you find something interesting here, you can even push it for everyone to see, and it will form a sidebar or pop-up on the TV.
The above mentioned features deal with real-time interactions between your Apple TV and the app, and forms the Active mode of the app. However, the new app comes with a Passive mode, which is what is more interesting.
In the passive mode, the user can get out of the ‘now playing’ details and browse the app again. These won’t show up on your Apple TV and hence, won’t disturb others watching with you. You can search for a better movie or add videos to queue, renew subscriptions or just about anything the app allows.
The patent also proposes for interactions via iCloud, so that you can access the TV even when you’re not within the house. Remember how Apple TV was reported to be the center of Apple’s smart home? Now, lets imagine the passive mode, remote access and iCloud, all working together. Imagine you reaching outside your house. Open the remote app, enter passive mode, access the Smart Home hub and open the garage. Meanwhile your wife is watching Netflix over Apple TV, and she doesn’t know a thing.
Though the patent doesn’t mention much about the passive mode, we believe this mode is what forms the core of the application. The active mode is just a modified piece of software and doesn’t require to be protected. Whereas, the passive mode would likely become the backbone of Apple TV multitasking between content delivery and home automation, which Apple certainly doesn’t want its competition to copy.