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Apple TV gets better for cord-cutters and cable TV subscribers

There's also an updated remote app with tons of new features and HomeKit support for automation.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
06.13.16 in AV
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Today at its big WWDC keynote, Apple announced a few updates for the Apple TV platform. New apps arriving include Sling TV (finally), Fox Sports, the French streaming service Molotov and the Minecraft: Story Mode game. Apple is also upgrading the remote application on your iPhone. The app is a lot more like the hardware remote, with touch-based navigation, Siri voice search, plus the ability to use the keyboard for input and game control using the accelerometer. As for the hardware itself, a new feature called "Live Tune in" will let you switch instantly between livestreaming channels like Disney, ESPN and more. There's also a dark theme now, while Automatic App downloads mean that when you install a universal app on your iPhone or iPad, it will be there on your Apple TV too.

Sling TV on Apple TV

Apple has even addressed the issue of signing into all of these network TV Everywhere apps with Single sign-on. Just sign in with your info one time, and you'll be authenticated in all of the apps that support it, which applies for the Apple TV and also mobile iOS devices.

  • Once a user is signed into one network app, any other app on Apple TV from participating pay-TV providers will automatically log the user into all other supported apps requiring authentication.
  • During the single sign-on process, customers can view a page of all the authenticated apps that a pay-TV provider offers to more easily discover, download and enjoy all of their favorite video channels.
  • Any network-TV app can take advantage of this technology to enable single sign-on and simplify the process for their viewers.
  • Single sign-on will be available on both Apple TV and iOS.

For the developers, Apple's bringing HomeKit, ReplayKit and PhotoKit to tvOS. Now devs can tie in home automation features to apps on the TV, pull pictures in from the photostream and much more. With ReplayKit (already available on iOS 9), they can record and live broadcast from within apps, so we could see Twitch-like features become common on Apple TV, or maybe even DVR-ish caching of live streams. A developer preview is rolling out today with all of the new features, and they should be available to the rest of us this fall.

Get all the latest news from WWDC 2016 here!

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