The future of TV is apps, says Apple CEO as new Apple TV revealed

9 Sep 2015

The TV model is broken and Apple wants to fix it

It’s okay TV land, Apple is about to save you from your own imminent destruction. That’s according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who believes TV as we know it needs an overhaul and it’s all about the apps.

At a special event in San Francisco where Apple revealed the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a new Apple Watch alliance with Hermes and the 16 September release date for iOS 9, Apple said it wants to disrupt TV from the damaging course it is on.

“More great content is being created for TV than ever before, it really is the golden age for television. But TV itself hasn’t changed.

“The future for TV is apps,” Cook said. “60pc of streaming consumed on the internet today is consumed through an Apple device.

“To deliver on this vision we need a new foundation built on powerful hardware, a modern operating system, a new user experience that is fun and easy-to-use and powerful tools and APIs so developers can create apps that are as amazing as they are in the mobile space.

“We need a personalized TV experience to be better than ever before. We’ve been working really hard and we really long to bring all of these together. Today I am thrilled to show you the new Apple TV.”

Hey Siri, what should I watch today on Apple TV?


As the invites hinted, Apple’s artificial intelligence agent Siri is going to be at the heart of this transformative TV experience that Apple is forging.

Apple’s digital content chief Eddy Cue showed that the new remote for Apple TV will incorporate voice controls and a touch surface.

Siri will be capable of navigating through Netflix and Hulu apps that will feature in a new dedicated App Store for Apple TV.

Siri can be used to search for good comedy, ideal movies for kids or movies featuring specific actors, for example, or to attain the latest sports scores.

Using the swipe controls on the new remote users can bring up information about the show or movie they are watching or bring up controls.

In fact, Apple TV shares many similarities to iOS 9 and Apple has created its own television operating system called TV OS, which it is making available immediately to developers.

“We have redesigned all of our apps, music and TV and even brought Apple Music to the big screen with over 30m songs and radio stations including Beats 1,” said Cue.

“The future of TV is apps. Apps themselves have changed and what we expect from and do from iPhone and iPads is what we should expect from apps on TV.”

Gaming will feature hugely on Apple TV and new games like a multiplayer, TV-optimised version of Crossy Road as well as a new version of Guitar Hero will be released in the autumn. Guitar Hero creator Harmonix has also developed a family game for the Apple TV called Beat Sports.

Fashion e-commerce brand Gilt has developed a shopping app for the new Apple TV. The US Major League Baseball is also developing an app that allows users to get the latest scores and action in baseball directly through their Apple TV.

The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October in a 32GB model that will cost US$149 and a 64GB model that will cost US$199. The original Apple TV will cost just US$64. The Apple TV will be available in more than 100 countries worldwide by the end of the year.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years