Ahead of this year’s WWDC, BGR editor Jonathan Geller claimed Apple would release a software development kit allowing developers to write third-party apps for the $99 Apple TV set-top box. His prediction was incorrect because to this date the hardware runs just a few stock apps as Apple’s been consistent in disregarding calls to open up the platform to third-party programmers.

Gene Munster, arguably the biggest proponent of a standalone Apple television set, has no doubt in his mind that apps are coming to your telly, recently predicting Cupertino will offer an updated Apple TV box with a TV app store as early as next year. In fact, Apple may have inadvertently leaked this capability because the Apple TV’s Movies menu has been spotted running banners that promote holiday apps and games…

As you can see for yourself on the top image, the banners for sports games, shopping apps and cooking apps all somehow made their way into the Movies < Genres < Classics < Holiday Music, Movies, and More section of the Apple TV menu.

As Mac OS Ken explains, hitting any banner produces an empty page which could be a placeholder for the real thing. If you ask me, this is probably a glitch in the system. For all we know, these banners may advertise existing apps for iPhones and iPads.

While I have no doubt that third-party apps are coming to your television by way of an Apple TV software (or hardware) update, I refuse to believe Apple would “leak” such a high-profile capability in such a cheap manner.

When Apple flips the switch on apps, will it be a game-changer for the hockey-puck console?

  • Difficult to say, but I’m ready!!!

  • Hopefully

  • iWant!!!

  • ic0dex

    Well the 3rd gen Apple TV has no storage space on it so then how will we download our games? If something like this happens they will put out a Apple TV with 8 or 16Gb’s for sale for around $200-$300 IMO or they might use their cloud service as a drive and we can run these programs like that? I mean they are building new iCloud centers right?

    • I would bet on iCloud, or storing said apps on a linked itunes computer.

    • There is 8gigs of storage on the 2nd and 3rd gen Apple TV, but not for you to store what you want ATM. It’s for cache. But think about it getting an app like hbo go would be like the app for iPad, small, and it would be streamed in. So what the hockey puck has on it is plenty for a ton of apps for you to add to the platform

  • Max

    I dont see any apps in that picture, they changed the design to have a banner for music? who cares. You could always play music, i dont see any apps, or any banners of apps in that image.

  • The day Apple TV gets apps is likely the day I’m convinced enough reason to buy one, assuming the apps aren’t severely limited compared to iOS apps.

    • hate to break this to you but apps for AppleTV will be just as crippled as apps for iDevices.

  • i am holding on apple tv until either apple enables app capabilities or brings us their hologram TV…in the mean time my 1 year old dumb TV is good enough with a roku..wish it was smarter but buying a smart TV seems like a waste of money since it wont be so smart next year…

  • Altaykai Yamada

    Panasonic is Japanese….Not Crapple.

  • Finally! A word used to discribe apple: Trolls.

  • Greg Quinn

    The Android miniPC sticks that plug directly into the HDMI input on TVs are already arriving and, I’m afraid, Apple has missed the boat. They procrastinated too long.

  • Greg Quinn

    FYI, the third gen apple TV *does* have onboard storage, 8gb of NAND flash.