Former Amazon Studios executive Morgan Wandell is Apple’s latest hire for its video team, reports Variety. Wandell will take on the role of head of international creative development for worldwide video at Apple, reporting directly to Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, former Sony execs who now lead Apple’s original programming efforts.
Prior to joining Apple, a move that’s been in the works for weeks, Wandell served as Head of International Series at Amazon Studios, and before that, he was an executive producer at ABC Studios.
Wandell previously worked with Erlicht and Van Amburg on “Sneaky Pete,” and has also worked on shows that include “The Man in the High Castle,” “Goliath,” “Jack Ryan,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Apple has been building up its video content team in recent months, and Wandell joins hires like Matt Cherniss, former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios, and Kim Rozenfeld, who came from Sony Pictures and now handles documentary series development.
Apple’s video content team is led by Erlicht and Van Amburg, both of whom report to iTunes chief Eddy Cue. Apple’s first project initiated by Erlicht and Van Amburg will see the company teaming up with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Comcast’s NBC Universal to create new episodes of sci-fi series “Amazing Stories.”
The Apple TV was released by Apple a good few years ago, and although there were minor upgrades to bring us to the TV3, nothing as substantial as the new Apple TV4, which I’m hoping to get my hands on soon.
The ATV3’s are extremely cheap now, I managed to pick mine up for just £30 on eBay, everything included. It’s used to essentially turn my pc monitor into a TV when I’m finished working for the day and it’s time to kick back and relax, and for that it works, kind of.
Before I go on, I am fully aware of the App Store on the ATV4, however this is for people thinking about buying the ATV3.
Let’s start with the Apple classics; Music, Video and Home Sharing.
Music, great if since day 1 you have purchased your music off of the iTunes Store and no where else, you’ll have a great experience and I can’t fault it. Not so great if, like I and many others, you are subscribed to Apple Music, you’re out of luck. It is not supported on this model which is a massive let down, there is of course a work around with simply streaming from iOS or macOS, however it means it’s no longer just a standalone TV anymore.
Video, same situation really, you need to have purchased it off of the iTunes Store for it to be any use at all, otherwise you’ll just need to rely on AirPlay.
Home Sharing, now I’m sure that Apple have done some sneaky coding here because even with Home Sharing off of my main media PC which has all of my Apple Music subscription music downloaded onto it, it still can’t access it off of Home Sharing, whether this is intentional I don’t know however it wouldn’t surprise me if Apple did this deliberately to make you upgrade.
The only other apps I use are Netflix and YouTube. Netflix is great and does the job really, it streams films, perfect. YouTube likewise really, you can search and do anything basic that you’d need to do really and I can’t really fault it on that part one bit.
In my opinion, the AppleTV is not actually a TV, it works better for presentations than media. Why? I have a very good internet connection, yet streaming over AirPlay causes lag, jutter, stuttering and causes audio and video to be out of sync creating that extremely annoying experience of the actor mouthing what they are saying before you actually hear the words.
At work however, the manager will plug in the Apple TV to give a presentation from his iPad and for this it is perfect, and this is really what it is for, the media side is just an extra.
For me, I think to fully get the ‘TV’ experience I need to consider investing in the ATV4 however right now, it isn’t quite worth the price point for me.
What do you think about it? Have you had positive experiences with the Apple TV’s or do you prefer a proper, set top box? Leave a comment down below.
Apple has released tvOS 9.2.1 for the Apple TV 4th generation, and WatchOS 2.2.1 for Apple Watch. Both releases include bug fixes and minor feature enhancements and are recommended for the respective devices. Additionally, Apple has released iTunes 12.4, which includes minor interface changes including a sidebar, and some other bug fixes to the media … Read More
If you didn’t buy into the new Apple TV enough to actually buy into it, good news: starting tomorrow, you can walk into an actual store and hand human beings money in return for Apple’s promised Future Of Television.
I turn 30 this month, and it feels like I am one of the few people my age who watches cable TV and is willing to pay for it. Truth is, I hate watching shows on my computer—or worse, my phone. Give me new episodes in real-time, on a real TV. I know I’m on the wrong side of history, but I also know I’m not the only one.
When competition heats up, you can expect somebody to get burned. Today, Amazon absolutely scorched Google and Apple by banning the two companies’ streaming TV products from its marketplace. Amazon says it’s “to avoid customer confusion.”
If you can’t stop refreshing the UPS website in anticipation of your shiny new iPhone 6s moving closer to home, our Tuesday edition of Apple Daily will point you in the direction of some early reviews to keep your mind occupied for a little bit. We’ve also got a first look at what’s powering the new Apple TV, along with official word from Apple on that XcodeGhost iOS malware that recently affected Chinese App Store customers.
Early iPhone 6s Reviews Published, Apple Has “Done It Again”
Apple’s latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models are winging their way around the globe and across the country to land on the doorsteps of preorder and retail customers this Friday, September 25, but those hankering for some independent criticism on the new smartphones won’t have to travel very far to find them right now.
Naturally, our first stop is techradar, where the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have already been lovingly detailed, each with a four-star rating hailing 3D Touch, the “bright, vibrant display” and “fuss-free camera,” while noting the battery life falls a bit short, Live Photos don’t always work, and there’s still room for improvement even after the release of iOS 9.
Next, MacRumors has assembled highlights of other key reviews from tech websites such as The Verge, Mashable, and TechCrunch, and the mid-cycle refresh appears to be worthy of consideration — especially for those interested in the new 3D Touch technology or the expanded capabilities of the dual cameras.
The Verge wasted no time exclaiming that Apple has “done it again” and referring to the iPhone 6s “the best smartphone out there, period,” praising Apple for managing to “do new things better, apply them broadly, and make them seem natural” in reference to the new 3D Touch feature. Mashable also gushed over the iPhone 6s Plus hardware, calling it a “performance beast” whose 12-megapixel camera easily bests both last year’s iPhone 6 Plus as well as its closest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
TechCrunch also summed up the iPhone 6s camera as “truly great” while noting the second-generation Touch ID sensor is “so fast that you can no longer tap the home button to wake your screen, because it will unlock instantly.” Last but not least, Apple’s new 4K video recording and Live Photos feature was also singled out for particular praise in this first round of embargoed reviews.
iFixit Nabs New Apple TV, Promptly Tears It Apart
Last week, a select number of developers began receiving fourth-generation Apple TV units following a lottery to determine who would receive the brand-new hardware before its public release next month. Apparently, one of those developers have handed the unit over to the folks at iFixit, who summarily began tearing it down to see what makes it — and the accompanying Siri-powered remote — tick.
Not surprisingly, the little black box is powered by a dual-core, 64-bit A8 chip with 2GB of SDRAM that retains the aging 10/100 Ethernet port found on earlier models. Perhaps contributing to the slightly taller dimensions, the latest Apple TV includes a larger heat sink than previous models, while the Siri Remote features a Broadcom-manufactured touch screen controller also used in iPhone 5s and iPad Air devices.
On a positive note, iFixit has awarded the fourth-gen Apple TV a repairability score of eight out of 10, suggesting that users won’t have a very difficult time trying to fix the media streaming box should anything go wrong with it in the future. Apple TV is scheduled to begin shipping sometime in late October.
Apple Posts XcodeGhost Q&A for Developers
Over the weekend, Apple removed dozens of apps from the Chinese App Store, all of which were infected with a new form of iOS malware dubbed “XcodeGhost.” Apparently, the afflicted developers used a counterfeit version of the developer tool Xcode hosted on third-party servers to compile these apps, but has since acted quickly with instructions on how to fix the problem, which does not affect apps compiled with the official Xcode versions found on the Mac App Store and Apple’s own website.
Earlier today, Apple posted a question-and-answer page in both Chinese and English to address any further concerns about the XcodeGhost malware, noting there is no evidence to suggest any malicious intent thus far, nor has any “personally identifiable customer data” been impacted.
Apple plans to list the top 25 most popular apps affected by Xcode Ghost, and will be notifying customers who have downloaded one or more of these apps. Once developers submit an update for the issue, customers will then be able to apply it to the copy on their device. Finally, it’s important to note this issue only affected Chinese customers — those in other regions were not impacted.
Apple’s upcoming set-top boxes will support third-party controllers for gaming, which is good news for anyone (everyone) who doesn’t like gaming with a touchpad. But that still doesn’t mean you should expect hardcore games from your Apple TV.
Tim Cook dropped by the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue for a surprise visit today, and he was rather chatty about topics like changes to stock iOS apps and Siri privacy. In other news, it appears that developers will have to make their Apple TV games work with the Apple TV remote, no matter how complicated that ends up being.
Cook Answers Questions About Apps, Siri, and More at Fifth Avenue Store
Tim Cook is in New York today on the eve of his interview with Stephen Colbert tonight, and he made a surprise visit to the company’s iconic Fifth Avenue store along with Apple executive Eddy Cue. Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski happened to be around to interview the Apple CEO, and Cook was surprisingly open during the chat — even to the point of talking about upcoming changes that we haven’t yet heard about.
On the subject of Apple’s built-in iOS apps that some people never use (such as Stocks and Tips), for instance, Cook said that it’s possible that we may be able to remove them from our phones one day. But, he notes, it’s not as easy as many people seem to think it is.
“This is a more complex issue than it first appears,” Cook said. “There are some apps that are linked to something else on the iPhone. If they were to be removed they might cause issues elsewhere on the phone. There are other apps that aren’t like that.”
That isn’t the case with every app, though, and “over time,” Cook said, the company will attempt to find a way to allow users to delete them.
“It’s not that we want to suck up your real estate, we’re not motivated to do that. We want you to be happy. So I recognize that some people want to do this, and it’s something we’re looking at.”
Cook also responded to a question regarding new privacy concerns with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’ always-on “Hey, Siri” feature. Anyone who’s really worried about it can just turn it off, he said, but he also pointed out that all the information collected by Siri remains on the phone itself and not in the cloud.
Buzzfeed’s interview is stuffed with other such tidbits, such as how Cook claims that “there’s no holding back” on Apple’s part when it comes to releasing new products. “As soon as products are ready, we’re going to release them,” Cook said. In addition, the interview revealed that Cook remains committed to keeping the Mac line a “key part” of the company’s strategy for the forseeable future, even though he notes that the iPad already meets the needs of many customers rather than a Mac desktop or laptop.
Apple TV Games Must Support Control with Apple TV Remote
In the days leading up to the announcement of the new Apple TV, many onlookers were excited about the device’s potential to emerge as a bona fide gaming machine. But as it turns out, there’s just one small catch. As noted by designer Dustin Westphal in a Touch Arcade article, Apple’s App Programming Guide for the new tvOS specifically claims that “Your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller.”
SteelSeries’ Stratus Controller for iOS
Keep in mind that this is much the same situation that we see on the iPhone, where some games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas might be better played with a third-party Bluetooth controller, but those same games also support the option for touch gameplay. In both cases, Apple’s reasoning likely springs from the desire to avoid complaints and calls for refunds once customers realize they need a controller to play the game they just bought. The problem is that some game developers might be scared away from designing games for the Apple TV on account of the need to create controls schemes for the Apple TV remote, which could be even more cumbersome to use than iOS’s touch controls.
Unfortunately for game developers, this appears to be a recent change. A tweet from game developer Rusty Moyher last week shows that Apple did, in fact, claim that “You Can Require an Extended Game Controller” even though Apple claimed that such a measure was “highly discouraged.” It’s always possible that Apple could go back to the earlier wording, but at this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what the reception is like.
AirPlay Mirroring, the tech that allows you to display your iOS device’s screen on your Apple TV, it great, but you need an Apple TV to use it. Instructables user edyboy12 shows how to use a Raspberry Pi instead.
Apple has at last announced the date for its next big media event and, well, it’s going to take place on the date we’ve all been saying it was going to take place on for months now. In addition, Apple is said to be bringing some spiffy animated wallpapers to the “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus.”
Apple to Hold Next iPhone/Apple TV Event on September 9
And so the rumor mill is right again. Apple sent out invitations this morning stating that, yes, the next Apple media event will be held at 10AM PDT on Wednesday, September 9 at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II in 1977. The invitation’s message is both simple and vague: “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”
In addition, Windows users will be able to join in on the festivities live for the first time ever this year, as the Cupertino company’s page for the event notes that you can stream it on September 9 “on a PC with Edge on Windows 10.” As usual, of course, you can also watch the event on Apple TV or through the Safari browser on a Mac or iOS device.
There’s always a chance Apple could surprise us, but there have been plenty of trustworthy “hints” from the rumor mill that suggest that Apple will at last unveil the so-called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at the event. Both devices are expected to be be made from stronger aluminum than their immediate predecessors, and they’re expected to feature Force Touch, an improved camera, 2GB of RAM, and an A9 processor.
Apple is also expected to use the event to unveil the next generation of the Apple TV, which is expected to have Siri support (which likely explains the invitation’s tagline), its own App Store, a touch-based remote control, and an A8 processor. Apple isn’t expected to announce its long-awaited subscription-based streaming TV service at the event, though, as negotiations are supposedly still bogged down.
For a bit of fun, saying “Hey Siri, give me a hint” to Siri does, in fact, reveal a set of customized responses. Unfortunately, the hints are no more helpful than “Well, I hear there’s something big happening on September 9” and our personal favorite: “Why don’t you check a rumors blog? That’s what I do.”
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus May Have Apple Watch-Like Animated Wallpapers
Fittingly enough, the pace of rumors hasn’t slowed down even with the next Apple media event on the near horizon. The latest rumor passed along from insider sources to 9to5Mac claims that the so-called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will feature new animated wallpapers in the style of the “Motion” watch faces for the Apple Watch. Each time a user wakes up his or her phone, they’ll be treated to watching the wallpaper dynamically change based on their interactions.
Some of the wallpapers seem based off the static backgrounds that showed up in the beta for iOS 9 earlier in the month, such as smoky clouds with different colors and a school of koi. The koi, in fact, seems to lend some credence to a “leaked” photo of the box for the iPhone 6s Plus that appeared on the Chinese site cnBeta this morning. Some inconsistencies with Apple’s earlier iPhone packaging led some commentators to doubt its authenticity, but as the box depicts a koi fish on the front, it could be a way to tie-in the packaging with this new feature.
Dynamic wallpapers already exist to a degree on the current iPhones, but their complexity doesn’t come close to matching that of the motion watch faces for the Apple Watch. At the moment, there’s no word as to whether we’ll get to put the snazzy new wallpapers on older iPhones, but it seems unlikely in light of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’s allegedly better processor and extra RAM. In fact, the static images we saw in the iOS 9 beta might be as close as we get.
Apple’s next event is September 9 and there’s lots of speculation about what they’re going to announce. iPads! iPhones! Apple TV? Instead of hanging your head about wondering, why not just ask Siri? Well, she’s not telling, and she’s being quite coy about the whole thing.
As we expected, Apple’s next iPhone will be announced on September 9, 2015—the same date as last year’s iPhone event. We’re expecting Force Touch, better cameras, and better processors all wrapped in a similar looking design. But Mega iPads and Apple TV (set-top box and streaming service) are expected to also make an appearance.