“One of the main challenges of producing a video streaming service or a set-top box that is meant to work with live television is the interface,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider. “Arguably one of the most important elements, especially for cable and satellite TV services, the ability for users to see all of the available channels and to decide what to watch is extremely important, and in some cases, can make or break a service. ”
“It is evident that, while Apple already has considerable user interface experience in the field with the Apple TV and tvOS, it is still considering ways to improve it,” Owen reports. “In a filing published on Tuesday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the patent for a ‘TV side bar user interface’ offers hints as to where Apple thinks changes could be made to the usual TV UI layout.”
“In short, Apple suggests the use of a side bar that can be used to drill down to specific categories and types of content,” Owen reports. “According to the patent, the interface could be used to manage content from multiple sources, such as a variety of existing online video streaming offerings from major channels, pay-TV versions, or non-broadcast video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook said the following during the company’s Q119 conference call with analysts, January 29, 2019:
We see huge changes in customer behavior taking place now. And we think that it will accelerate as the year goes by to sort of breakdown of the cable bundle that’s been talked about for years. And I think that it’ll likely take place at a much faster pace this year. And so we’re going to participate in that in a variety of ways. One of those is through Apple TV and you’re well familiar with that product.
The second way is AirPlay 2, which we have as just pointed out we have support on a number of different third-party TVs. And we’re excited about that. It makes the experience in the living room with people using our products even better. We think that people are really going to like that.
Another way is, of course, all the third-party video subscriptions that are on the store. We are participating in this today. And I would guess that that’s going to accelerate into the future as the bundle breaks down and people begin to buy likely multiple services in place of their current cable bundle.
And then finally, original content where we will participate in the original content world. We have signed a multiyear partnership with Oprah. But today I’m not really ready to extend that conversation beyond that point. We’ve hired some great people that I have a super amount of confidence in and they’re working really hard and we’ll have something to say more on that later.