iTV could become a game console, web browser, movie viewer, video phone and a true living room PC.
Software sleuths have discovered code in iOS 5 that suggests the Apple TV’s Bluetooth abilities are about to be turned on. While the most obvious consequence of adding Bluetooth support to Apple TV is the ability to use the Apple wireless keyboard to navigate menus and enter text or there’s more to it?
Mark Gurman and Sonny Dickinson at 9to5Mac uncovered the Apple TV Bluetooth code. Gurman speculates that the addition of Bluetooth support to Apple TV’s current WiFi connectivity means Apple has a version of the Safari web browser in the works for the box. But with bluetooth support it means a lot of stuff could come next to the Apple iTV platform with connectivity support for keyboards, mice, and even iPhones/iPads to use as controllers. Lets take a look at some of our “speculations” of the features you would be able to unleash with this update:
1) A games console
Bluetooth means you could use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as a controller – with over 15 billions apps downloaded, Apple’s not going to be shying away from its App Store anytime soon. A Nielsen report recently showed games are the most popular category of app, and with the Mac App Store already rolling out games to your desktop, it makes perfect sense for Apple to make the leap to your TV. The prospect of using an iPad as a second screen for extra info and dual screen gaming, a la Nintendo Wii U, means app games could take on a whole new dimension. Exciting stuff indeed.
2) A full web browser
Apple TV already has Wi-Fi, so we reckon a version of the Safari browser is in the works, to go hand in hand with the App Store. This is the post-PC age, after all, Apple keeps telling us, with couch computing meaning people no longer want to be at their desks to check their emails. Bringing it to the big screen makes perfect sense, rather than a limited YouTube experience. If you’re already playing games on the sofa, why would you want to get up to do something else?
3) An HD cinema
The rumoured revamp for later in the year hints that as well as a dual core A5 processor, Apple TV will get 1080p video support, upgraded from its current 720p abilities. That’ll mean more lag in streaming, but with broadband speeds increasing, TVs getting bigger, and not to mention that slick new processor, it makes sense to add the best picture quality around.
4) A videophone
Following the success of FaceTime on the iPad, why not bring it to your TV? You could even chat to someone on their iPhone while they’re out and about. Sure you’d need a webcam for your TV, but Apple TV does have a USB port. And with these new abilities we can see the market for new peripherals about to explode.
5) A news feed
iOS 5 is bringing Notification Center to the party, which collates all your emails, texts, status updates and tweets in one place. While playing games or browsing you’ll get a notification that means you won’t need to stop what you’re doing – the same could easily come to Apple TV. When you’re not playing games, just scroll the alert bar like a news feed. You’ll forget what the TV was for in the first place.
Source of info about iTV’s bluetooth code can be found @ 9to5mac.com