Over the past couple of years, Apple has been slowly adding content, via ‘channels’, to the Apple TV platform. These channels are nothing more than a link on a homepage pointing to a third-party’s streaming web service, allowing Apple to quickly add and remove content providers via an update to their server-side HTML. As Apple has been expanding their content, they have simultaneously been conspicuously silent on the device at their annual developers convention, and this year was no different.
Among a list of changes to iOS, OS X, and watchOS announced in San Francisco, not a word was said about rumored updates to the hardware Apple TV platform, and only a single mention of the device’s capabilities as a HomeKit controller was made.
Yet, reading between the lines, there were many announcements that show the potential of what an updated device and Apple TV service would look like.
- Search API and Siri- One of the biggest challenges with the current way Apple has been deploying ‘channels’ on the Apple TV has been searching content. Today, there is no way to search across the channels for available shows, yet the new API released for iOS provides access to this data. Combined with the new, more natural capabilities within Siri, this would be the most logical place for a TV interface to succeed where others have failed. Use natural language to search content maintained by each channel and content provider, and the biggest challenges facing video content usability are conquered.
- Metal & Games APIs – Apple continues to advance the capabilities and performance of their game APIs. Today’s updates allow game developers to create better games faster than ever, and with the Apple TV sharing similar hardware to the iPhone/iPad, it would seem to be a trivial effort to allow developers to write games that execute natively on the platform.
So this is obviously all conjecture at this point, but without any substantive narrative from Apple in years, we’re going to be left guessing for at least a while longer.
Also read: Apple Music coming to Apple TV this fall