Previously, I had wondered how an iOS i/AppleTV would be controlled. Perhaps via the new Magic Trackpad? Maybe your iPhone or iPad would control things. But, how would that work and would it do?
Our favorite curly haired Apple writer, John Gruber, spoke about the AppleTV on his podcast, The Talk Show. He surmised that the new iOS powered device would have its own store, and not run iPhone or iPad apps. Very astute. If it ran those apps, how would you control them out of the box, would you be required to buy a Magic Trackpad? Silliness.
The current AppleTV model comes with a small remote capable of 4 directions and a home or “menu” button. MacBooks used to come with a similar remote, I have no idea if they still do. It’s my best guess that the new AppleTV will be controlled by that same remote.
Let’s think about it - let’s assume Gruber is right and that the new model will have its own App Store. Presumably, it would need its own store because the input methods would he drastically different, at least at its base. How would you even begin to navigate around a home screen without being able to touch it? You’d need apps that would not need scrolling or swiping. Perhaps just one touch?
An Apple remote would be capable. In terms of viewing video, you’d be more than able to go right or left to select a film, fast forward, etc. You could double-tap right to switch screens. But would there be games?
I say yes, and these games would be controlled by an iOS device. Why not have a game that syncs with your iPhone and turns the screen into a controller, and reacts to the motions of it? The app could be universal and upon launching, would become aware of its AppleTV brother and switch to a different mode. Essentially, it would be a buttonless Wii-mote. I know, that would make people freak out and say, “I’m not paying $199+ for a controller!”
Do you realize how many people have an iOS device these days? I can totally envision reading in an AppleTV store, “this app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or an iPad.
It’s not that crazy.
The rumored hold-up is that studios don’t want to be forced into a 99c price point in the store. The Talk Show also mentioned this possibility: why wouldn’t NBC just release their own app and charge a monthly fee to stream? An AppleTV and its own store has the chance to fully realize the potential Hulu hasn’t.
A world where you could literally release yourself from your cable bill, and pay the stations outright for their services. An ESPN app? Hold me - an NHL app for streaming games?
Out of the box, the best chance to ditch cable. If you have an iPhone, something much more. At $99 a pop, this would be pretty stunning.
(Note: this was written entirely on my iPhone using the app, “Elements”. Grab it.)