The Apple TV gets a new, flatter user interface, iOS 8 features

“The Apple TV’s interface is only vaguely similar to the one on your iPhone or iPad, but inside the set-top box is the same hardware and software that runs the rest of the iDevices,” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica. “Alongside iOS 8, Apple [yesterday] introduced ‘Apple TV Software version 7.0,’ a fancy name for ‘the Apple TV’s version of iOS 8.'”

“The new update tweaks the design to bring it in line with iOS 7, iOS 8, and the upcoming OS X Yosemite,” Cunningham reports. “Helvetica Neue Light is everywhere, and glassy buttons and faint blue glows are replaced by flat black-and-white buttons.”

“The new design is what you’ll notice first, but the Apple TV picks up a few other iOS 8-related features, too. The box supports Family Sharing, the feature that lets family members with different Apple IDs share purchases with one another,” Cunningham reports. “There’s a new Beats Music channel, which ties in to the streaming service Apple picked up when it bought Beats earlier this year. And AirPlay now works with other iDevices, even if they’re not on the same Wi-Fi network—now, devices can form an ad-hoc wireless network and stream that way. ”

See the full gallery of Apple TV screenshots here.

Related article:
Apple releases iOS 8 and Apple TV Software Update 7.0 – September 17, 2014


  1. Is it true that this update is only available for third-generation Apple TVs? The 1080p ones? I never bothered replacing my 720p Apple TV, because I didn’t see what it offered over my current one, other than higher resolution HD that I wouldn’t notice on my smaller TV anyway.


      1. Well, poo. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like there’s anything in this update I can’t live without. I want a new Apple TV, but I’m waiting for them to release an upgrade that’s not just a spec bump.


        1. Lipstick on the pig unfortunately. The basic US experience is the same, only the appearance changed.
          Jobs claimed “I finally cracked” the TV market. Either he forgot to tell anyone the secret before he passed away, the current Apple execs don’t believe his idea to be sound, or it is incredibly time consuming to implement.
          The pig looks prettier, but it is still a pig for now.

  2. Looking at the gallery is an app for Beaten by Dre- the marketer of the crappiest headphones this side of Wal-Mart- and their music service. Biggest waste of $3 Billion outside the Defense Department.

    There should be a third button on Beaten By Dre (serial abuser). I guess only Football players are being held to account by the media.

    No F*cking Way.

    Going to hide that craptastic app along with Fox and other worthless BS.

    1. Based on iOS 7, did they make the TV fonts small and gray on a white background?
      Take away navigation buttons that made total sense?
      Remove color coding that made navigating much easier?

      Apple used to be all about the “human interface”. I believe that is being forgotten with Steve being gone.

      1. Well said.

        Respectful gentle wording, noted.

        How about Steve’s perfectionist lifelong culmination of GREAT design sh*t-canned into the abstract art bin of Apple history … in less than two years!

        Forstall the late great last fine line vestige of GUI design and keeper of the faith — sh*t-canned. For what, CHANGE?

        New regimes flush with raw power have a tendency to overplay their hands in not so smart ways.

        Let’s be honest precisely what is going on Apple fanboys. Visually a step back to the 1930s flat outlines that has been universally panned elsewhere and a nagging controversy for Apple fueled by the opposition.

        Offer icon theme design choice, for a fee if you must … everybody happy. 🙂

  3. My Apple TV is growing dust these days. Just never what I expected from Apple. We use ROKU devices a lot more and even my Xbox 360 ended up doing way more service then Apple TV because it could do Amazon. I’ve pretty much broken free of Apple and don’t miss Apple one bit.

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