Apple TV 4 sales start on Monday October 26

Apple TV 4 sales start on October 26

During an interview on stage at WSJDLive 2015 conference, Tim Cook announced that the new Apple TV 4 will be available for order next Monday October 26, with shipping expected the same week. Pricing starts at $149 for 32GB model and $199 for the 64GB model. Since has banned the sale of Apple TV and Chromecast, your best place to order the new Apple TV 4 is at Apple website.

What Apple didn’t tell you about Apple TV 4

Apple’s “Hey Siri” media event was packed with many announcements, and expectedly a number of details were not revealed at the event. Here are more information on Apple TV 4 you’ll want to know to get a better picture of what to expect.

The fourth-generation Apple TV is 50% taller (35mm vs 23mm) and 50% heavier (425g vs 272g) than previous model. It has A8 processor (vs A5 in 3rd gen) and 2G of memory. This spec is higher than iPhone 6/6 Plus which is using the same A8 processor but with 1G of memory. The beefier memory is much needed for improved caching and to support demanding games.

Apple TV 4 missing optical audio port

Apple TV 4 does not support 4k video. The HDMI port is version 1.4 and is not the 4k friendly HDMI 2.0. The service-and-support only micro-USB port is now replaced with USB-C. The optical audio port is dropped. This undoubtedly will make some users unhappy when they’re connecting their Apple TV via an AV amplifier that has no HDMI support. You will be fine if you connect Apple TV directly to the HDTV or via an AV amplifier that has HDMI input. Apple TV 4 will now support Dolby Digital 7.1 in addition to Dolby Digital 5.1. Great news for those with a 7.1 home theatre setup at home.

Wi-Fi in the new Apple TV is 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO. The wireless speed with proper setup could be faster than the wired 10Mb/100Mb Ethernet port. You may still want to use Ethernet for greater network latency and Ethernet is a more reliable connection in general. Apple could easily upgraded the network to gigabyte Ethernet at negligible cost. It is astonishing Apple could release a new networking hardware in 2015 with a technology that is older than 10 years. All hints point to a future revision of Apple TV with only wireless networking.

Curiously Apple TV 4 is using Bluetooth 4.0 instead of the latest Bluetooth 4.2. iPad Pro, iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and even the 6th gen iPod touch released this summer are all sporting Bluetooth 4.2. The latest Bluetooth 4.2  has better throughput and is more efficient. You’d expect Apple to support Bluetooth 4.2 for a device that is well suited to become a HomeKit hub. There is zero sign of anything “HomeKit” in the media event.

Apple is dubbing the new black remote “Siri Remote”. Siri integration is touted as the headline feature for you to use voice commands and for search. Unfortunately Siri in Apple TV will be initially limited to five languages in eight countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. There is no specific if or when Siri on Apple TV will arrive for other countries.

Siri Remote has build-in accelerometer and gyroscope for playing game like a Nintendo Wii remote. To prevent gamers from throwing the remote at their HDTV screens, Apple is selling a wrist strap called Remote Loop that resembled the one Nintendo released for Wii controller years ago. There is no information on the maximum number of remote/controller that you can used during a game session. And there is no pricing yet for buying just the Siri Remote.

Apple TV4 Siri Remote and Game Controllers

Beside using the Siri Remote for games, Apple TV also supports third parties MFi certified game controllers such as the Nimbus Steelseries Controller that is prominently promoted on Apple site.

Updated: Apple has stated in its App Programming Guide for tvOS that while you can use third party game controller with Apple TV, all games made for Apple TV must support the Siri Remote. This will reduce the number of games available during launch period as time is required to add Siri Remote support into existing games. Complex console type games will also be limited as most of them are designed to play with a dedicated game controller.

As for TV subscription plan, it remains a rumour for now. Judging from the accuracy of recent Apple rumours, it is safe bet that we will see a TV subscription plan from Apple materialise towards the end of the year or early next year.

You don’t have to use the Apple Remote with your Apple TV

You dont have to use the Apple Remote with your Apple TV

The aluminium Apple Remote is bundled with each Apple TV. With a centre scroll-wheel and 2 buttons below, the user interface exemplifies the Apple design for simple and ease of use. 

The minimal approach to a remote might not be your cup of tea. Or that you’re using a universal remote such as Logitech Harmony 650 in your home entertainment systems and you’d like to use the same remote to control the Apple TV.

Turns out that Apple TV is compatible with third-party infrared remotes. You can use the remote that came with your TV or cable box to control Apple TV.

First check if your remote supports Apple TV directly with its factory default settings. If not, select a setting on your remote for Apple TV, one that doesn’t control any of your existing devices. 

On Apple TV, using the Apple Remote to go to Settings > General < Remotes and select Learn Remote. Select Start.

You dont have to use the Apple Remote with your Apple TV Learn Remote

Apple TV will display icons that represent the six buttons on the Apple Remote. The Up (+) button should be highlighted. 

On your third-party remote, press and hold the button you want to be Up until the blue progress bar is full. Apple TV will select the next Down button. Repeat the steps until you’ve program all six buttons.

10 tips for getting the most out of your Apple TV

10 tips for getting the most out of your Apple TV

Apple TV, with its spartan looking remote control, is as simple as can be for a media streaming box. But that doesn’t mean it has no tricks on its own. Here are 10 tips for getting the most out of your Apple TV:

  • To quickly put your Apple TV to sleep, press and hold the “Play/Pause” button.
  • Press and hold the “Select” button during video playback, and you will get a menu to adjust audio, subtitle and speaker options.
  • When you’re playing a video or nesting deeming in submenus, press and hold the “Menu” button to take you back to the main menu.
  • Data entry using the remote is slow and error prone. Use the free Remote app on your iPhone or iPad instead. Or use any bluetooth keyboard via Settings > General > Bluetooth.
  • Rather than using the default National Geographic pictures as screen saver, you can select movie trailer posters, your Photo Stream photos or Flickr album. Change it under Settings > Screen Saver > Photos.
  • To hide apps on your home screen, go to Settings > General > Restrictions.
  • To rearrange the icons on the home screen, first navigate to the app icon. Press and hold the “Select” button until the icon begins to jiggle, then use the arrow keys to move the icon where you want.
  • In addition to iPhone and iPad, you can AirPlay content on your Mac to the Apple TV if you are running OS X Mountain Lion or later. 
  • Instead of using the stock Apple remote control, you can program non-Apple remote control if it has learning capability. Setup is under Settings > General > Remotes > Learn Remote. This allows you to use one remote to control all your home entertainment TV and boxes.
  • To reset your Apple TV in case it is unresponsive, press and hold down “Menu” button together with “Down” button.

Apple releases app for WWDC 2013


Apple has released the app for WWDC 2013, its annual developer conference happening next week June 10-14. This year’s WWDC app is opened to anyone with a registered Apple account. For the first time, daily session videos of the conference will be made available to all developers. This is unlike in the past where WWDC app was opened for those who bought a ticket to the event, and session videos were made available to all developers few weeks after the event.

Apple is expected to unveil the next generation iOS and OS X in the keynote of the event scheduled June 10 Monday 10am PDT. 

Apple has so far released only two new products this year


It is mid-year 2012, and Apple has only released two new hardware products this year. The products are off course the new iPad and the 3rd generation Apple TV.

Typically Apple products are launched in a predictable cycle. For iPad, iPhone and iPod, it is a yearly refresh. Macs are a different story but it is usual to have two refreshes each year for MacBook Pro notebooks, and a yearly refresh for MacBook Air. 

Macbook Pro misses its Q1 refresh this year, all due mainly to the delay in Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors. But wait no further, as all signs point to a confirmed launch of Macbook Pro refresh next week during the WWDC conference keynote on June 11 morning.

In fact there are rumors that Apple will refresh not just the Macbook Pro but its entire Mac line including accessories during the keynote. That will include Mac Pro, Mac Mini, Macbook Air, iMac, Thunderbolt Display, Time Capsule and Airport routers. Stay tuned!

Summary of March 7 Apple Event: iOS 5.1, new Apple TV, new iPad, iPhoto for iOS


Apple just completed its March 7 media event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. If you want the full coverage, please visit the usual suspects such as Engadget, MacWorld etc websites. For those in a hurry, here are the quick summary:

  • iOS 5.1 will be available later today. Those with iOS 5 can update directly from within Settings app.
  • As part of iOS 5.1, Siri will add Japanese language support.
  • iTunes in iCloud now support movies with the ability to re-download movies you’ve purchased on any device. iTunes movie now come in 1080p.
  • Apple unveils third generation Apple TV with 1080p support with a streamlined new user interface. The price is the same as existing model at $99. Available next week March 16th, order starts today.
  • Apple launches new iPad. It is not iPad 3 or iPad HD, just iPad. Or the new iPad. Or third generation iPad.
  • New iPad comes with 264ppi 2048×1536 resolution Retina Display. This is twice the resolution of existing iPad and more than 1 million pixel more than HDTV 1080p (1920×1080) standard. The new screen also boasts 44% greater saturation.
  • New iPad has a new A5X processor with quad-core graphics and is twice as fast as Tegra 3.
  • New iPad has a 5M pixel iSight camera with backside illuminated sensor, 5-element lens, Hybrid IR filter, face detection and ISP (signal processor) module built into the A5X chip. It can record video at 1080p with video stabilization and temporal noise deduction features.
  • There is no Siri for the new iPad. Instead it comes with voice dictation for US English, British, Australian, French, German and Japanese.
  • The new iPad supports World Ready 3G and next-generation 4G LTE wireless. It is capable of 21Mbps HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA at 42Mbps, and LTE at 73Mbps. (Compare with iPad 2 which is capable of 3.1Mbps on EV-DO and 7.2Mbps on HSPA).
  • The new iPad has a 10 hours battery life. The battery life is 9 hours on 4G LTE. It is 9.4mm thin and weights 1.4lbs, which is slightly heavier than iPad 2.
  • The new iPad has the same pricing as iPad 2: $499 for 16GB Wi-Fi, $599 for 32GB Wi-Fi and $699 for 64GB Wi-Fi. The price for 4G LTE version is $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.
  • The new iPad will be available March 16 for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Pre-orders starts today.
  • The new iPad will be available March 23 for Austria, belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
  • Apple updates iOS apps: iWorks, iMovie, Garage Band. Free update for existing users.
  • Apple releases new iPhoto for iOS with photo editing and organization features. $4.99 available today.
  • iPad 2 16GB will be made available at $399, a price drop of $100.

Apple TV is now about $10 cheaper at $89.99

Apple TV price drop

Apple TV is now at $89.99 at Amazon and Best Buy, a price drop of about $10. At Apple’s online store, Apple TV is still listed at the usual $99.

The price drop might be an indication that retailers are making room for a newer model. Mid-November is unusually late for a product launch ahead of Christmas shopping season. But it is nevertheless good bargain if Apple TV is in your shopping wish list.

Apple TV at