Apple TV

Lara Croft GO gains new levels and iMessage sticker pack via Mirror of Spirits update

Developer Square Enix this morning issued a new content update to its turn-based isometric puzzle mobile game, Lara Croft GO. Bumping version number to 2.1.7, the game now lets you take Lara through a whole new journey in an alternate reality. Specifically, the update brings out a whole new chapter named Mirror of Spirits with 25 new puzzles and three new mechanics. As a bonus, players get a brand new Lara-themed sticker pack for iMessage. The update is available at no additional charge to those who have purchased the game.

ESPN releases revamped Apple TV app with on-demand content, live streams & more

ESPN today refreshed its app on App Store with an overhauled user interface on Apple TV and other features. Renamed from WatchESPN to just ESPN, the free of charge universal binary now works across your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch. It now supports auto-playing live streams, replays and full episodes of on-demand content. The app is rolling out today so check back later if it’s not live yet on your local App Store.

Infuse 5.3 brings optimized playback performance, parental controls, Blu-ray disk images & more

Infuse by aTV Flash Black developer FireCore is a versatile, very powerful media player that lets you watch non-iOS optimized media file types without the need for manual transcoding or a helper app to do the heavy lifting via your computer. The app was updated on App Store to version 5.3.

Infuse 5.3 for iOS and tvOS comes with a completely overhauled high-performance playback core that’s now now faster and better than ever before.

Other new features are available in Infuse 5.3 as well.

The app now accepts your Blu-ray disc images and folders and lets you restrict access to videos and settings with built-in parental controls. The release also packs support for ISO 9960 (Joliet) disc images, country-specific age ratings for movies and much more.

Apple TV Remote app gains support for iPad, lyrics, playlists, chapters & more

Apple’s free app for controlling Apple TVs from anywhere in your home via your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch was just updated on App Store following a barrage of software updates that the company released for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS earlier this morning. Bumped to version 1.1, the official Apple TV Remote app finally supports iPad natively and now lets you see music lyrics, browse playlists, navigate chapters and more.

Facebook shares details about its video-focused Apple TV app, which is coming soon

Facebook has officially confirmed through the mouth of its Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose and via a press release that it’s indeed planning to launch a video-focused Apple TV app soon. The forthcoming app will let users kick back and watch Facebook videos from the couch. Rose has confirmed the development at the Code Media conference in Dana Point, California. The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Facebook was working on an app for set-top boxes back in January.

Premium entertainment network Epix launches Apple TV app with free trial

Premium entertainment network Epix today announced its new app for the fourth-generation Apple TV is now available for download on App Store. Similar in terms of features and appearance to their iPhone and iPad app, the Apple TV app permits owners of Apple’s media-streaming box to watch live television, browse movie trailers, add videos to a queue, watch thousands of movies on demand and more.

Facebook working on video-focused app for Apple TV and other set-top boxes

Facebook is reportedly working on a video-focused app for media-streaming boxes such as Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Last October, the social network launched a feature allowing users to stream videos from the mainland Facebook mobile app to their TVs via Apple TV. Tuning into television’s market with a dedicated streaming app of its own would help the company tap more ad dollars.

Infuse updated with support for DVD videos, NFS streaming, Library and folder search & more

The versatile media player Infuse by aTV Flash Black developer Firecore was updated this week with several new features and enhancements, including the ability to play DVD videos saved as VIDEO_TS, .dvdmedia or ISO/IMG archives.

Other new features in Infuse 5.2 for iOS and tvOS include Library and folder search, the ability to stream media from NFS-formatted network shares, sort your media by release date and more.

HBO GO picks up support for Single sign-on and Apple’s new TV app

Apple today put HBO GO on the list of video apps supported in its new TV app via the Single-sign on feature that recently launched in iOS 10 and tvOS 10.

This lets HBO GO users sign in with their cable or satellite credentials on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV to enjoy instant access to HBO shows, not only in Apple’s own TV app but in other supported video apps that their pay TV subscription includes.

Apple increases max tvOS app size from 200mb to 4GB

Apple on Thursday posted a note to its developer portal, informing third-party app-makers that it has increased the maximum size for tvOS apps from 200MB to 4GB. It says the change will allow apps to provide a more “complete, rich user experience upon installation.”

Previously, tvOS app downloads were capped at 200MB with the ability to download more resources after being installed. This resulted in faster installation times, but often caused users to have to wait for additional content to download before using the app or game.

Pokémon Go is dead, long live Pokémon Go!

There is no debate that a large contingent on the internet has been holding out for less Pokémon Go news in 2017, but it is equally clear that this sentiment will not be echoed by the people at Niantic. No matter the side of the fence you are on, the fact that Pokemon Go is hands down one of the most successful apps in the history of the App Store (breaking first-week download and revenue records) is a big deal, and the augmented reality laced game will continue to rake in millions of users and dollars in the year ahead. It’s not all rosy though, as the daily player count is continuously pointing south and engagement data crumbling.

As much as this is Niantic’s battle to fight, Apple too has a vested interest in the preservation of Pokemon Go’s winning streak and will want to benefit financially from the game throughout the current fiscal year. The question both business entities therefore are going to have to find answers to is what’s next for Pokémon Go strategically, and what is Apple’s role in facilitating Niantic’s continued success with the app? Not so much content wise but rather in terms of product strategy, I have sized up a few moves that Niantic, The Pokémon Company and Apple could have up their sleeves over the next 12 months.