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Apple TV gets overhaul with new app-centric model, Oct. release

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Apple today unveiled the latest iteration of its digital media player, the Apple TV.

The device will go on sale in late October and more than 100 countries by the end of the year. The 32GB model will sell for $149 and the 64GB version will sell for $199.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the new device by saying that the future of television is apps and noting how much time people spend using apps to watch television programming.

The device comes with a new remote that features both a glass touch surface across the top and the ability to listen and respond to voice commands through Siri.

remote

Among the features included in the new device are a screen saver and access to movies, television, apps, photos and music. The new Apple TV will run an operating system called TVos.

The system will support the ability to start a game on an iPhone and finish it on the Apple TV. There will also be single app purchase for multiple devices, though what will be included in that was not clear.

The games already in development for the new streaming box from Apple are Galaxy on Fire, Rayman Adventures, Disney Infinity 3.0 and Guitar Hero Live.

During the presentation, a clutch of developers were invited on stage to show off some of their Apple TV creations.

crossy road

Andy Sum, of Hipster Whale, showed off an Apple TV version of Crossy Road which includes both multiplayer and cooperative play.

Jon Carter, of Harmonix, introduced a new game called Beat Sports. The motion-control game uses the Apple TV's new remote to have people play bizarre, rhythm-based, futuristic sports games.

In one demo, a player flicked his wrist to the rhythm of the music playing to hit baseballs with a bat as they were thrown at his character. The game supports up to four players.

beat sports

And it wasn't just games shown off during the new Apple TV unveiling.

Gilt is an app that lets users shop for stylish clothes from the couch. Gilt includes hi-res images of all of the clothes, including detail shots.

The MLB app features full HD video at 60 frames-a-second of a variety of games as well as a deep dive into stats and the ability to watch two games at a time. NHL will also be launching an app, this one in 2016.

The device will feature a 64-bit A8 chip, support for Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and an IR receiver. The remote uses Bluetooth 4.0 and includes a volume control, built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, a lightning connector and a three-month life per a charge.

The Apple TV was first released in 2007. It has since been upgraded twice. The third generation of the set-top box was released in 2012 and added 1080p support. Users can control it with an included Apple Remote or by using the Remote app on an iOS device.

The original devices don't have a TV tuner or video recorder, nor did they support the App Store, but they can stream content from a variety of providers or a user's iOS device. That includes the ability to play games through AirPlay, which projects an iPhone or iPad's display through an Apple TV and onto a TV. By the second version, released in 2010, the device had basically become an iPhone, running a version of iOS and using similar technology.

In March, Apple dropped the price of the third generation Apple TV to $69. It includes an A5 single core processor, 512 MB of memory and 8 GB of flash memory for storage. Users can connect to the internet with wi-fi or through an ethernet connection. The tiny device is a bit less than 4 inches tall, by less than five inches wide and is under an inch deep. It weighs about half a pound.

The unveiling occurred during the company's San Francisco press conference, which touched on a number of major additions to Apple's lineup including updates to its watch, a new, larger iPad Pro and the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.