Apple TV 6.0 is out: iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, iTunes music purchases, more

By , Sep 20, 2013

Apple TV 6.0 update (teaser 001)

Following today’s launch of the new iPhone 5s/5c and Wednesday’s public release of iOS 7, Apple on Friday issued a major new software update to its “hobby project,” the $99 Apple TV streaming set-top box. The company’s been testing a companion Apple TV update since announcing iOS 7 at June’s WWDC.

We previously caught glimpses of some of the new features such as AirPlay enhancementsautomatic device configuration over Bluetooth, custom subtitles and Conference Room Mode for presenters. All of these goodies – and then some – are now readily available to Apple TV owners.

Go past the fold for the full details on iCloud Photos and Videos, iTunes Music Store purchases, Podcasts, AirPlay from iCloud and other Apple TV enhancements…

We’ll be adding direct download links to the iDB Download page.

In the meantime, install the update by choosing Settings > General > Update Software. The software is available for both second and third-generation boxes.

iTunes Radio can be found right on the Apple TV’s Home menu.

HT5848_ATV_Get_Started_en

You can create, edit, reorder or delete stations, skip tracks (six per channel, unless you’re an iTunes Match subscriber), disable or enable explicit tracks (it defaults to clean tracks) and more.

When listening to iTunes Radio, you can skip up to six tracks per hour per station. Once you’ve reached your skip limit, the Skip Forward control will be dimmed until 60 minutes has passed.

If you like a song and want to buy it, hit the down button on your Apple TV remote while in iTunes Radio and select Buy. I also love iTunes Radio history, available by pressing the up button on the remote and selecting History.

Apple TV 6.0 (Create Station)

Note that iTunes Radio is currently available only to those residing in the US. Another caveat: iTunes Radio will stop audio playback after two hours of inactivity.

Taking a cue from iOS 7, Apple TV 6.0 can now install software updates automatically.

Apple TV 6.0 (Edit Station)

The new software also replaces Photo Streams with iCloud Photos and Videos so you can now stream both photos and videos added to your Shared Photo Streams from other devices.

Buying music from the comfort of your couch is now possible thanks to the new iTunes Music Store app that lets you browse, purchase and play music from Apple’s content store. Previously, iTunes Match subscribers were able to stream their cloud music via the Music app, but not buy songs.

iTunes 11.1 (Podcasts enable)
To have podcasts show on your Apple TV, enable syncing in iTunes 11.1.

The Podcasts app has been updated as well – it’ll now sync your podcasts and podcast stations across Apple TV and other devices.

If you’re anything like me, you use AirPlay on an everyday basis to stream media from iOS devices to a living room TV. That said, the new AirPlay from iCloud feature will be a great addition.

AirPlay from iCloud is smart in that it’ll stream content directly to an Apple TV rather than your iOS device. The feature works with any Apple ID so you’re now permitted to play own video content on other people’s Apple TVs, without requiring them to sign out of their iTunes Store account first.

Apple TV 5.4 Beta (Conference Room mode, iGen 001)
The new Conference Room Mode appeals to presenters.

AirPlay from iCloud must be enabled in Settings and works on devices running iOS 7.

“Use your device to play videos from iTunes in the Cloud – no download required,” says Apple. Obviously, AirPlay from iCloud works is limited to movies and television shows purchased from iTunes.

Nonetheless, I’ve found it to be a very much welcomed addition.

Some folks may prefer to disable the feature due to the Apple TV’s buffering resulting in an inexplicably long wait before streamed video starts playing.

No, there’s no App Store for Apple TV apps.

If TV apps are in fact inbound, they’re likely going to require a hardware refresh to the Apple TV, apparently due next month.

Let us know down in the comments about other changes I may have missed.

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  • Kurt

    They need a new controller. Using an iDevice for a controller is a must.

    • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

      You can use your iDevice as a controller. Or you can use the remote packaged with the appleTV.

      • Ted Forbes

        iDevice great, but not as handy, I like the remote but a few more buttons will do just fine.

    • Jonathan

      You already can. Remote for iPhone and iPad by Apple. ;)

      • Kurt

        Thanks…didn’t know that!

      • Jonathan

        No problem. :)

    • Ted Forbes

      Yes please, a more advance, simple, light durable remote, even if its just a few more buttons. Also a split screen or sidebar with menu without leaving the picture. Something of that sort will do equally well.

  • abdullah575

    i dont use it !!

  • Jonathan

    What, no iOS 7 feel? I was at least hoping for at least a flat wallpaper and icons.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      All that and (hopefully) more will be in version 7.0 I bet

  • http://kevinrichter.nl/ Kevin Richter

    lets hope there are some security leaks

  • Xi Zahn

    Does PlexConnect work with it?

  • Jiří Málek

    Should I wait or buy an Apple TV now?

    • Mohammed Sahib

      Wait.

    • Jonathan

      Buy an Apple TV 2nd gen (not the latest which is the 3rd) and then jailbreak it, or wait

      • Hini

        Can i downgrade Apple tv 2 from 5.3 without SHSH?

  • Fevostone

    Will movie box still work with this update..?

  • Mohammed Sahib

    I updated my ATV3. Now Airplay is buggy. I am not sure if it is due to iOS7 on my iP5 or the new ATV update. Some of the icons of ATV now are flat, some are not. Another inconsistency. iTunes radio keeps interrupted, while working fine on my other devices. So far I feel sad I updated.

    • ThunderLord

      My ATV3 is also buggy. Mi iphone 5 has IOS6 yet. I hope apple fix it.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        I think I fixed the airplay issue.I first restored my ATV using iTunes on my PC, and used the new method of setup (by iP5 through Bluetooth). Then I tried connecting the ATV by Ethernet to my router to offload the WiFi and spare bandwidth. It was working before the update but I told myself maybe the new software require higher bandwidth. It didn’t work. I went into ATV settings, airplay and turned off airplay from cloud. So far so good. I’m gonna update if any think new happens.

  • Tony

    I was having crazy issues when my iphone 5 was on wifi and my appletv
    was turned on. It wouldn’t do much of anything as far as connecting to
    the tv. I’m hoping this update fixing that for my iphone 5s.

  • Jonathan

    Really don’t understand this AirPlay from iCloud and Aple accounts. My brother has been able to AirPlay stuff to an Apple TV set up under my account. Also I can AirPlay iTunes in the cloud item from my iOS devices already?

  • http://jheintz.com/ Justin Heintz

    How’d you take screenshots of the Apple TV interface?

    • http://www.deltecenterprises.org/ Deltec Enterprises

      I was wondering the same thing…

      • Bill

        I know the 2012 and 2013 LG smart TV sets let you capture a quarter HD image of what’s on the screen. I’m sure they’re not the only ones that have that feature.

      • http://www.deltecenterprises.org/ Deltec Enterprises

        It could have also been an HDMI Through box or something, I know those exist for gaming.

      • Bill

        As long as the menu system in ATV isn’t HDMI-HDCP, those boxes usually work. However, I get HDCP errors between my ATV2 and my older LCD TV from time to time…

  • Neil Sardesai

    Thank god it’s not all flat.

  • klouud

    Biggest update I’d like to see to my 2 ATV 3’s: grid mode for movies – like Netflix. This is the single biggest thing I’d like.

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    Apparently problems with this update; I got a restore screen after downloading and installing the latest update; and now I have to purchase a micro USB cable and restore my Apple TV from iTunes (ATV 3)

    • Bill

      You didn’t already have one of these? They’re pretty much a requirement for everything else that isn’t Apple.

  • Blake Baldwin

    I’m hoping, once mavericks comes out, I’m going to get an apple tv and use the airplay for a dual monitor setup. However, I’m curious to see how laggy it’s going to be.

    • Bill

      Probably about as laggy as AirPlay mirroring is with Mountain Lion, which is just enough to not make it game-friendly. Even across a gigabit ethernet backbone (Sandy Bridge iMac -1000-> Time Capsule -1000-> basement 8 port -1000-> entertainment center 5 port -100-> AppleTV), there’s still a bit of lag due to the on-the-fly video compression. Over 5GHz wireless N, it’s still not bad, but there’s occasionally a blip or two if you’re in an area saturated with 5GHz wireless N. 2.4 GHz? As they say in New Jersey, “Fuhgittaboutit.”

  • Grande PHD

    No update for Brazil…

  • http://www.deltecenterprises.org/ Deltec Enterprises

    For all people complaining about Laggyness or long buffer times, if you’re on WiFi it’s a no brainer. Plug it into Ethernet, then see if the problem goes away. (I bet it does.)

  • dazzlemi

    Is os6 for apple tv2 jailbreakable yet ?

  • Jean-Christophe Marie

    Airplay is buggy, I don’t see any of my Apple TVs from my iPad. I have always to deactivate/reactivate airplay on the Apple TV to make it work again for a while. Anyone experiencing this problem ? Any future correction planned from Apple?