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Apple sends out invite for Sep 9 Special Event

Apple Sept 9 Special EventApple is all set to unveil the next iteration of the iPhone family and possibly also the much-anticipated Apple TV. This year’s event will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on 10 September, Thursday at 1am (Singapore).

The invite shows the top edge of the Apple logo overlay with the coloured curves that is similar to how Siri’s interface look on iOS 9. Adding more intrigue are the words “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” Try that on Siri now see and see what she replies.

What we would be expected to see:

  • New iPhones – the “s” series
  • Launch of iOS 9 to go with the release of the new iPhone
  • Apple TV

The last keynote at WWDC was all about iOS and OS X. This time, although iPhone is expected to take centre stage, it will probably be shared with the much anticipated update to Apple TV. The current (3rd generation) Apple TV was launched back in 2012 and in the last three years, the TV industry is making a gradual change that is making cable companies worried. With companies like Amazon and Netflix producing original content that they distribute themselves, or HBO streaming their own shows via HBO GO, the TV industry is ready for disruption. How that might happen and where Apple TV will be in that process, we might know when Tim Cook goes on stage on 10 Sept.

Matthew Panzarino from TechCrunch has a good article on what we might be expected to see with the new Apple TV.

A new Apple TV is on the way, though, and it could move the needle in more than one industry. According to information I’ve been able to compile from multiple sources, Apple is about to lay down its cards.

Besides a new design, more powerful processors, the new Apple TV will be able to support running apps, specially games. A native SDK will finally open the Apple TV to developers to develop apps.

There will also be a new controller which was a pain for most current Apple TV users. There will be a Touchpad area and a microphone to allow verbal controls via Siri. There will also be multi-axis’ motion sensing on the controller that is similar to a Nintendo Wii remote. Panzarino continues to speculate that this controller, together with Apple TV, allows Apple to make headways into the gaming industry.

However, that is where I have a different view. For a start, I think the motion control sensors, will only be used for one thing – lift your controller and you can say “Hey Siri” and then provide any command to Siri to execute on Apple TV. Like your Apple Watch. Remember on the iPhone, the mic will constantly listen for the “Hey Siri” command to toggle Siri as it will drain your battery if it wasn’t the case. For the Apple Watch, the mic only switches on when you lift your wrist. Likewise, for the new controller, the motion sensors allow you to do that without burning through your battery.

Coming back to using Apple TV as a gaming platform, we already have a more powerful controller that can do more than what the Nintendo Wii does – your iPhone. There are already games on the iOS platform like Monopoly that allows you to use the iPad or Apple TV (via AirPlay mirroring) as the board, and the iPhone as your card holders. With the Apple TV, it would make more sense to link your iPhone to the Apple TV, and the main screen can act as any type of controller the game requires. If it is FPS, your screen can become your multi-button controller. If it is a racing simulation game, the whole iPhone becomes your steering wheel. The iPhone+Apple TV combination will make the Apple TV a much better gaming platform.

Will we see that this coming event? I doubt so. If the words on the event invite were to mean anything, Siri will be heavily featured. But if the new Apple TV is launched with those specs and a full featured SDK like iOS, I can’t wait when game developers shift their focus onto the Apple TV.

Maybe that’s the next big thing for Apple.

We can watch the live stream from Apple on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later. Those who are on the PC can also watch if you are using Windows 10 with the new Edge browser. To remind yourself about the event, do download the iCal meeting reminder.

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