Jan 29 2013, 4:00am CST | by Mark Raby
Although much of the fanfare this week has surrounded the release of Apple's newest iOS update, iOS 6.1, there was a less hyped upgrade that made its way through the Cupertino, California company's airwaves - a new firmware download for the Apple TV.
The most noteworthy addition in this latest update for Apple's set-top box is the addition of Bluetooth keyboard support. No longer do users need to use a proprietary connection with an Apple device for wireless connectivity. They can browse content and make selections via any Bluetooth keyboard. Previously, users were effectively limited to using their iPhones, iPods, or iPads as remote controls for the device.
Also included with the new firmware is a feature called "up next." When listening to an iTunes playlist, this provides users with an on-screen text box that displays the next song title in queue.
The Apple TV has been an interesting journey for Apple. It certainly has enough of a following now to warrant constant updates and new feature rollouts. However, it hasn't done for the set-top box industry what the iPad did for mobile computing or what the iPhone did for smartphones.
Perhaps that's because the set-top box industry was already on its way to being irrelevant before Apple stepped in. The idea of connecting more devices to a TV is definitely an archaic one these days, especially as TVs have multimedia and Internet-connected content built in.
The only people who will buy an Apple TV are people who already have Apple products. That is not the case with the iPhone or iPad, and that's why it hasn't been such a commercial success. If and when Apple launches an actual, full-fledged TV set, then there might be a different story.
With more than 10 years as a professional writer, Mark Raby has an undeniable pulse on the latest trends. From the quiet rumors to the breaking news of the day, his eagle eye is always focused on the newest scoop and figuring out how and why the big newsmakers are noteworthy and relevant. He is based in New York City.
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