The long-rumored Apple television set has been talked about at length recently, with sources for the WSJ suggesting that the new television would potentially have some novel functionality that would perhaps be inherited from the current generation Apple TV. Some notable new features would be the inclusion of Siri, voice and gesture based controls and streaming content from the cloud.
One of the key features would be a TV ‘that would be controlled by Apple mobile devices in order to be easier to use and more personalized’. Now, that is a very interesting statement and it opens up a range of questions as to how Apple would see this type of interaction taking place. Is it as simple as using an iOS device as a remote control? Probably not.
While iOS control sounds like a good idea for an Apple Television, it’s really not. For one, you currently have to unlock your iOS device before you do anything with it, so imagine you have to do that every time you want to do something simple like changing the channel (use your iPod with your current gen Apple TV and you’ll get the idea). A physical remote control will probably always be required for functions like this, unless you want your iPad or iPod battery drained pretty quickly with an ‘always-in’ approach.
However, thinking deeper into this ‘more personalized’ approach could bring up the concept of a more complex mirroring interface with the iPad and the Apple Television. An example of the most simple mirroring concept is that of streaming a movie from the iPad to the Apple Television but it could potentially be more complicated than this. If the Apple Television were to have the ability to run ‘apps’ while paired with an iPad, then you start to see the potential for a dedicated control interface displayed on the iPad with the app itself displayed on the television. It would almost bring touchscreen potential to a television set without having to touch it. Imagine THAT potential.
Of course, I could be reading too much into this but it would be exciting to see what Apple could do with a powerful and fully integrated iPad-Apple Television interface, rather than the simple iPod Classic style menus that are used in the current Apple TV interface.