You Can Now Explore 360-Degree Videos On Apple TV, No VR Headset Required

Though 360-degree video has been hot in 2015, the immersive experience has largely been limited to virtual reality headsets, mobile devices, and laptop screens. Now, 360-degree videos are coming to your TV, thanks to a new Apple TV app created by the Disney-backed virtual reality company Littlstar.

Apple TV users can explore any part of the video by using the Siri remote to tweak their viewpoint. They can see a ballerina perform at Lincoln Center, visit Yellowstone and Greenland, or watch a boxing match. Littlstar’s library contains thousands of 360-degree videos produced by major brands like Discovery, National Geographic, Showtime, and Disney, as well as curated content from individual contributors.

“Users can now view 360 videos on their televisions, and experience immersive video the same way they would a traditional TV program,” Tony Mugavero, founder and chief product officer of Littlstar, said in a statement.

As major companies invest in 360-degree video—Facebook recently introduced the medium to its platform and is selling virtual reality spots to advertisers—bringing the format to life on TV screens seems like the next logical step.

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iSkelter’s Apple TV Station Offers a Stylish Resting Place for Your Apple TV and Siri Remote

If you’re an Apple TV owner, or you have one on your holiday gift list, you’ll want to take a look at the iSkelter Apple TV Station. This eco-friendly bamboo stand attractively keeps your Apple TV and Siri Remote together, ready for action.

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It’s a modern docking station for your Apple TV and remote. The clean design and smooth lines create a simple, yet brilliant stand. It features scratch-free, recessed docks for both the remote and the Apple TV. The base is cut from a sheet of eco-friendly bamboo and hand polished for a premium finished product. Apple TV Station is compatible with the new and early generation models.

The Apple TV Station is designed and hand-built in one of my favorite towns, Phoenix, Arizona. It weighs in at 10 ounces, and measures at 9 x .75 x 6 inches, so it should fit on any entertainment center or shelf. Along with every product purchased from iSkelter, you also get a cool little “I Give a Damn” wrist bracelet. So there’s that.

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3 Available Models: Combined Unit for Apple TV with Siri Remote, Separated Unit for Apple TV with Siri Remote, Combined Unit for Original Apple TV

Combined Unit: Keep your remote and Apple TV in the same location. A combined unit should rest on the entertainment center or shelf near your television.

Separate Unit: If you prefer storing your remote controls on a side table or coffee table, this model may be for you. It keeps your Apple TV docked by the TV and your remote rests within an arm’s reach away.

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iSkelter also makes a similar station for Amazon Fire TV owners, along with stations, lap desks, cases and more made for use with your iPhone and Mac. The Apple TV Station is $29.99, and it appears an order would easily be delivered by Christmas Eve, (this was written on December 16th), so it’s perfect as a last minute gift for the Apple TV enthusiast on your gift giving list.

Is there a new Apple TV on its way early next year?

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It seems like we’ve only just had the latest Apple TV arrive in our homes – and now we’re hearing rumours that there’s a new version on the way.

The rumours about a new 5th-generation Apple TV stem from a report on Taiwanese site Digitimes, citing Taiwan-based techies. It’s claiming the new Apple TV is going into trial production this month, with a full-volume production run starting in the first quarter of next year.

It took Apple around three years to move from the old Apple TV to its latest design, replete with new tvOS software, lots of storage and a boatload of apps. For the new Apple TV generation to last only a matter of months seems a strange move, making this rumour sound like it needs swallowing with a fistful of sodium chloride.

5 hidden remote touchpad tricks will make you an Apple TV expert

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The new Apple TV remote is a thing of beauty. It’s got six simple buttons, it’s rechargeable and it features a beautifully simple touchpad at the top to swipe across menus, app icons and letters to enter passwords.

But the simple joy of using the touchpad is very Apple-like. There are hidden secrets to the surface uses, with

Here’s how to get the most out of your Apple TV remote touchpad.

Rearrange app icons

Trust me, that icon rectangle is totally wiggling.

To rearrange your apps on your Apple TV, simply swipe navigate to any specific app, then click and hold the touchpad down until it starts to wiggle. You can then swipe up, down, left or right to move the icon to another spot in your Apple TV icon grid. Click again to make the change permanent and stop the wiggling.

Delete apps

Are you sure sure?

To get rid of an app after you’re done with it, simply swipe navigate to the app, then click an hold down the touchpad, as above. This time, however, press the Play button on your Apple TV remote to delete the app. You’ll get a confirmation screen; click on Delete to remove the app, or Cancel to skip the whole thing.

Swipe faster

Swipe faster for even faster movement.

Typing in a password and need to get to the end of the alphabet? Simply swipe a little harder on your Apple TV remote touchpad and the “cursor” will fly across the screen in either direction. Same for the app icons. Accelerated swiping means that you’ll get a much faster movement if you swipe faster. Go slower to select one letter (or app icon) at a time. It takes some getting used to, but works pretty well.

Backspace and alternate characters

Oh hai! Look what's hiding in here!

One issue I’ve had when entering text is correcting mistakes. Swiping all the way to the far right to hit the delete key is annoying, to say the least, especially when your password has tricky characters in it. If you “hover” over a letter when typing, simply click and hold the touchpad down and you’ll get all the alternate characters for that letter or number, plus you’ll get a backspace key right there to fix your mistake.

Musical options

An Apple Music fan needs options, ok?

When you’re playing a song on your Apple TV, you might want to add it to your music, or add to a playlist. You can do this easily with your remote touchpad. Simply click and hold on the name of the song and you’ll get a contextual menu that offers you all the things you can do with that song, like add to a playlist, go to the song’s album, or start a station based on that song. Hit the Menu button to go back to your song list if you don’t want to choose any of the options.

New Apple TV hacked to run makeshift Safari browser

A new YouTube video (embedded below) showing the first browser designed for the new Apple TV has been published. The app uses a private API to render web content, so it’s not likely you’ll be seeing it on the App Store any time soon, but the project is open source and can be downloaded by anyone.

The browser takes advantage of the Siri Remote bundled with the new Apple TV hardware to navigate websites. Pressing the glass surface on the remote switches between two modes.

 

The first allows the user to scroll by flicking the glass, while the other mode displays an arrow that can be moved freely around the screen. Once the arrow is visible, pressing the glass surface again will click on whatever’s below the arrow.

The simplistic browser loads pages quickly and seems to work fairly well. For casual browsing it might be quite useful. Unfortunately, as noted above, it’s not likely to be released officially because it requires access to a private API to function.

Earlier this week, another Apple TV hack demonstrated built-in support for iOS-like folders on the home screen, which would make app management much more powerful.

Apple Begins Accepting Pre-Orders for Fourth-Generation Apple TV

As expected, Apple is now accepting pre-orders for the fourth-generation Apple TV set-top streaming box. The new device is available with 32GB of storage for $149, or 64GB of storage for $199. Orders will begin shipping later this week, with the earliest delivery date set for October 30, for customers who select one-day shipping.

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As well as the box itself, Apple is offering extra Siri Remotes for $79, (go ahead and order an extra one, you know you’re going to lose it!), as well as Remote Loop wrist straps for $12.99. (This will keep you from throwing the remote through the television when playing games, so grab one of those too). Apple offers two-years of AppleCare coverage for $29.

The new Apple TV brings much-needed improvements in hardware and software, as well as support for third-party apps via a new App Store. A new touch-based remote, with support for Siri commands is also available in select countries, allowing for Universal Voice Search, which finds content across multiple services.

The hardware powering the new Apple TV includes an A8 chip, with 2GB of RAM, the aforementioned remote – which also includes a gyroscope and accelerometer to allow it to be used to control games – and third-party Bluetooth controller support.

Apple TV pre-orders are available via the Apple website. The third-generation Apple TV will continue to be available for $69.

Pricing for select locations outside the U.S. where the new Apple TV is available are as follows:

  • Australia: A$269/A$349
  • Canada: $199/$269
  • Euro countries: €179/€229
  • Japan: ¥18,400/¥24,800
  • UK: £129/£169

Apple TV Gains CBS All Access, NBC, and Made to Measure Channels

Just a week ahead of the launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple has added several new channels to the existing set-top box. As of today, NBC, CBS All Access, and Made to Measure (M2M) are available on the Apple TV.

The new NBC channel is the first time the network has had a channel available on the Apple TV, aside from the dedicated NBC Sports channel. With the NBC channel, customers can watch full episodes of NBC shows on the Apple TV. Cable authentication is required for some features, but all users can watch some NBC content on the channel without needing a subscription.

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Announced last night, M2M is an Apple TV exclusive channel that focuses on fashion, run by talent agency conglomerate WME/IMG. The channel features short videos, interviews, and mini-documentaries from the fashion world.

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The new CBS channel, CBS All Access, is designed to provide access to the CBS All Accessstreaming service. CBS All Access includes more than 7,500 episodes of CBS shows on demand, and it offers new episodes of all CBS shows the day after they air. Some customers whose local CBS affiliates support All Access will also be able to watch CBS shows live on the channel.

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All three of the new channels are available immediately on the existing Apple TV, and will also be available on the new set-top box that’s launching on Monday.