While speaking with Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker last night as part of the WSJDLive conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook touched on a number of interesting topics. Though notoriously tight-lipped, Cook spoke candidly on a few issues, and even dropped a release date for the highly anticipated fourth-gen Apple TV.
According to Cook, pre-orders for the upcoming Apple TV will open up next Monday on October 26. Not to worry, shipments are slated to begin later on in the very same week. This is undoubtedly welcome news for those who have been waiting a while for Apple to finally step up its Apple TV game.
For years, Apple executives famously referred to the Apple TV as nothing more than a hobby. But now, more than eight years after its initial release, it’s abundantly clear that the upcoming Apple TV is being positioned as integral part of Apple’s product lineup. Indeed, Cook went so far as to call the upcoming device the “foundation of the future of TV” while also labeling the current channel-oriented cable TV experience as both “terrible” and “broken.”
“The TV has to be brought up and modernized,” Cook added.
While it’s easy to dismiss such sentiments as hyperbolic, it’s hard to ignore that the upcoming Apple TV, does in fact, bring with it a number of compelling features. First and foremost, the new Apple TV will include support for its own dedicated App Store. The potential here for gaming is immense and it’ll incredibly interesting to see how both developers and end-users take to it.
Additionally, the new Apple TV will come with a new Siri-enabled remote that promises to make hunting down content a more seamless process. And last but not least, the new Apple TV will include “Universal Search”, a feature that will make searching for TV shows and movies across varying streaming services and iTunes much more seamless.
Speaking to this point, Cook told Buzzfeed earlier this month that search results on Apple TV will prioritize episodes available for free above all else.
… If I’m a Netflix subscriber and I want to binge-watch a five-season series, will an Apple TV search tell me that the first three seasons are available to me for free on Netflix, the fourth is available for purchase on iTunes, and the fifth is available only on HBO? Or will it leave me to work that out myself?
Cook said the former scenario is the one Apple’s implemented. “It will be clear which service is free,” he said. In other words, Apple will show each season or episode in all the services in which it’s available to you and iTunes if they have it. So you would see options for Netflix, iTunes, and HBO, if all three had the content and you were subscribed to Netflix and HBOGo.
Cost wise, the fourth-generation Apple TV will come in two models – a 32GB model will be available for $149 while a 64GB model will be available for $199.