The Future of Apple TV: iOS Apps, 720p and an ‘i’ Name [RUMOR]


New rumors suggest that an upcoming refresh of the Apple TV will bring iOS app support, as well as a new name for the device.According to Engadget, the next version of the Apple set-top box will be called the iTV. Mac history buffs will recall that this was the original name Apple announced for the device back in October of 2006; we can only assume the company has settled the trademark disputes over that name if it intends to go forward with a change.In addition to supporting iOS applications and a long-rumored streaming iTunes service, Engadget also reports that Apple will be downgrading the video output on the device to 720p. Previous reports indicated that playback would be in 1080p, but Engadget's sources claim the version of the A4 chip being used in iTV isn't powerful enough to push full HD video.On the one hand, that's a blow to videophiles (who aren't the target market anyway), on the other, it makes sense if only from a streaming and downloadable content perspective. The new device is rumored to only have 16GB of flash media storage, which indicates that movies and TV shows will be designed to be streamed off of other computers or Apple's servers. While some companies are successfully pushing out 1080p streaming video (like Vudu), it's still not the most scalable solution.Right now it isn't clear if the new set-top box will support current iOS apps built for the iPhone or iPad or if developers will need to specifically target the new device. With any luck, companies that already have apps on the iPad, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and ABC, will be able to quickly bring that experience to the television screen.We expect that Apple will be announcing the new device this fall at the company's annual iPod event. We'll keep you posted.What do you think of the rumored new direction of Apple TV? Let us know!

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