The Apple TV has always had one glaring downfall: there’s no bluetooth support. Up until now you had to jailbreak the Apple TV to obtain this feature, but it looks like that could change this Fall.
9to5Mac is reporting that iOS 5 contains hidden code (above) that enables bluetooth in the Apple TV2. While the new function is more than likely for connecting bluetooth keyboards, it does suggest that Apple could have bigger things in store for their TV set-top box…
Currently, Apple TV users have to use a 4 button remote to enter search criteria and information. So, needless to say, the addition of bluetooth keyboard support would be a godsend.
But think about this, what if the new software update supported more than keyboards? What if you could connect your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV via bluetooth? That would open up a whole new world of possibilities, especially for developers.
Ever since the second generation Apple TV was introduced last year, folks have wondered if the device would get its own App Store. After all, the ATV2 is built on a modified version of iOS.
The idea of an Apple TV App Store seems feasible. While not all of the 400,000+ applications would translate perfectly to the big screen, games alone would be worth the venture. Add in the ability to connect iDevices as controllers, and you basically have a console.
We’ve speculated on this “console” idea before, only before with Apple’s AirPlay technology. Unlike AirPlay, though, bluetooth is consistently fast enough to support real-time game controls and doesn’t rely on flaky Wi-Fi speeds. Think Wii controller.
Also remember that Google, Apple’s largest competitor, recently announced that they would be porting their Android Market to the Google TV line. That alone suggests Apple’s working on something similar for their products.
While we won’t know what the Cupertino company is really up to with iOS 5 until it launches this Fall, the added bluetooth support by itself makes the $99 Apple TV seem a bit more appealing. Here’s hoping Apple doesn’t drop the ball on this one.
iDB wants to know, would you buy an Apple TV if it had an App Store?