Monday, August 15, 2011

Apple TV: the head in the clouds

Despite being a hobby that sticks to the skin from the beginning or near the Apple TV continues its merry way. The latest version of its software system out yesterday opened up new horizons ... During the developer conference (WWDC), Apple has discussed at length icloud for its computers as well as the iPhone and iPad. With version 4.3 of its system software, the Apple TV is coming to the party.
The little box of Apple is now able to access streaming all episodes purchased since iTunes account (in the U.S. only for now). One can imagine that this feature will be extended in the future more or less close to the films acquired on the platform download from Apple.
This feature is not reserved for the Apple TV, it is also enabled on other terminals equipped with Apple iOS 5.0. For the Apple TV, this is a major step forward. In a way, it takes its independence from Mac or PC which it is attached. The decision of Apple is not surprising in itself, it only confirms what was announced at the WWDC, that the concept of the digital hub as we have seen in recent years is no longer relevant and that now everything will converge to one or more clouds. This is not the only innovation introduced by this update also offers support for Vimeo. Until now, YouTube was the only free streaming service run by Apple's hobby. That will bring a little diversity, and it is even more interesting that access to YouTube suffers frequent delays and Vimeo videos are very good. So, certainly this new firmware does not change completely, but it makes the product a little more interesting. And not to expect, with the advent of icloud, Apple TV should have a nice card to play. With the first model, Apple had already acted in a similar way by offering occasional revisions of the firmware in order to offer customers new features. But with this model, based on IOS, Apple probably afford to go much further and much faster. If Apple TV is still flanked by the status of hobby, with the model released last year, Apple has still turned a corner. In his first quarter of marketing, Apple has sold more than a million. The apple did not release the sales figures of its predecessor. As Steve Jobs said so aptly: "When you sell many copies of a product, you want to tell everyone." Without reaching the huge numbers of other devices iOS, Apple TV does not sell too badly. During the last quarter, Apple would have passed just under 500,000. Figures to compare, for example, with Google TV, which he seems catastrophic Logitech terminal with its review, has recorded more than product returns that sales for the quarter.

If no one has yet managed to make a fortune with this type of aircraft, this segment is attracting more and more players. After Google has launched in the battle last year, is Research In Motion (RIM) to work actively on a small case quite similar to the Apple TV. The recipe is identical to that used by the Cupertino company: a hardware and software architecture very similar to other products in the home including the playbook. The product itself is more focused professionals.

Going back to Apple, the problem remains the same: how to move up a gear and make the Apple TV product with a potential similar to the iPad or iPhone? With Apple TV, Apple has always been patient and seems to not want to confuse speed with haste. Unlike other terminals in the range, the Apple TV would not be entitled to a cycle of annual update. He muttered a few months ago a new model equipped with the A5 processor could emerge by the end of the year. At last, it would no longer be valid. To move up a gear, although Apple has two choices: find the "killer feature" which would be indispensable. This could be the integration of an App Store, but why must one hand that the developers are interested in this product and there is a large user base. And for the moment, two million Apple TV owners do not weigh very heavy, compared to the number of people who daily use a Mac, iPhone and iPad. Another major obstacle, interactions with the Apple TV are limited by the remote control.

Another hypothesis comes from time to time would be downright Cupertino manufactures its own TV. Just last week, an analyst promised a real Apple TV in mid-2012. But it was more like wishful thinking than anything else. The idea has probably been a long time to germinate in the minds of engineers from Apple, but the realization of such a product is horribly complex as standards in this area differ from one country to another. As a universal solution like Apple, is currently impossible. Unless we offer a 100% internet TV, but it is likely that the household under 50 is not ready for this idea ...

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