Apple is seeking apps for its overhauled Apple TV streaming-media box.
The updated Apple TV, which runs Apple’s new tvOS software, goes on sale October 30. Apple put the word out to software developers on Wednesday it’s now accepting app submissions. The company also published guidelines on design for large screens and on compatibility with the touch-sensitive panel on the Apple TV remote.
This latest version of Apple TV is the biggest and most significant update to the Cupertino, California-based company’s home-entertainment device since the Apple TV box launched in 2007. The device streams Internet video to TVs and lets people play games. The box will feature Apple’s App Store for the first time, and Apple wants it well stocked with compatible apps. It is unclear how many third-party apps will be available for next week’s launch, but Apple has already been highlighting game apps and other apps, such as Manticore Rising, Rayman Adventures, Guitar Hero, ESPN, PBS Kids and YouTube.
Apple was early to the streaming market, but the increased competition from Roku, Google and Amazon, which all have their own streaming boxes or sticks, has put Apple under pressure to step up its game. Just as it did when it first released the iPhone, the company is betting big on apps to define the future of television.
Apple TV apps will run tvOS, which is new software with its own user interface designed for television screens. This is the second of two new operating systems Apple has released this year. The first was the WatchOS software for the Apple Watch. Both are designed to complement iOS, the software that runs on iPhones and iPads.
While familiar apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO and iTunes will be central to the Apple TV app offerings, Apple has made it clear that it doesn’t see tvOS simply as a home-entertainment platform. At the launch event where Apple TV was unveiled, the company demoed a series of apps from different genres, including the game Crossy Road, Airbnb for vacation rentals and Gilt for shopping, that demonstrated its vision for the range of apps it sees people interacting with on their television screens in future.
Apple is trying to create a consistent experience for iPhone users on both Apple Watch and Apple TV through something it calls “universal purchase.” This means that when someone downloads an app on iOS that has a compatible WatchOS or tvOS app, the app can automatically be used across multiple Apple devices.
The new Apple TV will start at $149. Apple plans to release it in more than 180 countries by the year’s end.