The time cometh….just a gentle reminder to all that the release date for the new Apple TV device is coming up (but has still to appear on the Apple website).
The new Apple TV was announced at the September 1st event by Steve Jobs and, at the time, it was promised that it would appear within ’4 weeks’. That, boys and girls, indicates that the new Apple TV should begin shipping by September 28th (or 29th depending on how you look at it). Unfortunately, if you take a look at the Apple TV section on the Apple Store, the shipping time is still listed as 2-3 weeks.
As we’ve seen, the new Apple TV is primarily a media rental device, offering 24-hour rentals of movies and TV shows starting at $0.99. However, with Netflix integration, you have the option of paying a monthly fee rather than pay-per-view.
The other killer feature of the Apple TV is the ability to stream media from your computer direct to your television through the device. This is one feature that I hope is properly implemented. Unfortunately, according to the pre-release material, it appears as if you are only able to stream media that is included in your iTunes library. This is bad news for those users who have media content that is primary .avi based as a conversion to an iTunes compatible format such as .mov will be required (an annoying step unfortunately).
The other major question is that of TV apps. The Apple TV is apparently powered by an Apple A4 processor and the operating system is based around a version of iOS. Yet, there is no mention of the ability to run apps, similar to other Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad. Steve Jobs, himself, has said that an App Store for Apple TV may be launched when the time is right but this would be dependent on the ability of users to interact with the device (the Apple remote supplied with the Apple TV would be a tough sell).
Whatever happens, the Apple TV is sure to be a massive hit, and I’m sure the jailbreak community is waiting with just as much enthusiasm as everyone else.
Update (Sept 23,2010): Apple has begun charging customers for their Apple TVs, indicating they will be shipping soon.