Apple is testing a 4K-capable Apple TV model that could be launching later this year, according to Bloomberg. The box is reportedly codenamed ‘J105’ and would be an incremental update over the existing fourth-generation Apple TV with the new box supporting 4K Ultra HD.
The report also details Apple’s many attempts to revolutionize the living room, none of which has made it to fruition. For example, Bloomberg says Apple is considering building its own MFi gaming controller for the Apple TV.
It also reiterates past reports stating that Apple has failed to strike deals with cable companies in order to create its own TV experience. At one point, the Apple TV had a coaxial input on the back, suggesting the box would be able to support cable TV.
It also notes that at one point the microphone was built into the Apple TV itself instead of the remote. This meant that users would need to shout their commands across the room instead of into the Siri Remote.
The report also says that Apple’s new TV app, launched alongside iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, leaves a lot to be desired. Its original intent was to be a portal for live shows and sports, but that ultimately got scrapped because Apple was unable to sign deals with content providers. Bloomberg also notes that the iPhone-like tvOS Home Screen is “less ambitious” than some of Apple’s other designs.
The Apple TV’s software is also less ambitious than originally envisioned. The current model features an iPhone-like app grid, but designers had prototyped more novel interfaces. One idea, dubbed “Intentions” internally, put the four tabs in the center of the screen: three for the Apple TV’s main content types (video, music, and gaming) and one for everything else. Another idea: letting viewers pull up previews of content by hovering on each icon (a feature currently reserved for only a few of Apple’s bundled apps).