Amazon to Resume Selling Apple TV and Chromecast

Amazon has decided to once again sell the Apple TV and Google Chromecast in its online store, reports CNET. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is officially offering the two products as of today.

"I can confirm that we are assorting Apple TV and Chromecast," CNET was told.


There are new product pages for the 32GB fourth-generation Apple TV, the 32GB Apple TV 4K, and the 64GB Apple TV 4K. There are also two listings for the Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra.

All of the products are listed as "Currently unavailable" right now, but that is likely to change soon after the listings are completed and propagated to Amazon's site.

Amazon first stopped selling the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast in its online store in 2015, claiming the reason for the removal was incompatibility with the Amazon Prime Video streaming service.
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said in the e-mail. "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
Since then, the Apple TV has been unavailable on Amazon's site, but Amazon's original reason for not selling the Apple TV was invalidated with the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV.

Amazon last week introduced a long-awaited Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV. The new app is available on third, fourth, and fifth-generation devices.

The return of the Chromecast to the Amazon site comes after Google once again removed YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show and the Fire TV. Google said Amazon's refusal to carry the Chromecast and Google Home and its refusal to make Prime Video available for Google Cast was a key reason that it stopped supporting YouTube on Amazon's products.

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Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 11.2.5 to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.2.5 update to its public beta testing group, one day after seeding the tvOS 11.2.5 update to developers. The first tvOS 11.2.5 public beta comes just a day after the release of tvOS 11.2.1, an update that fixed a HomeKit vulnerability.

The tvOS 11.2.5 public beta can be obtained by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under "System." "Get Public Beta Updates" will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.


It's not yet clear what features and changes might be included in the tvOS 11.2.5 update as no outward-facing changes were discovered in the developer beta.

It's likely the update features security improvements and fixes for bugs that have been discovered since the release of tvOS 11.2 and tvOS 11.2.1.

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Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 11.2.5 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.2.5 update to developers for testing purposes, a little over one week after releasing the tvOS 11.2 update.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the tvOS 11.2.5 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.


We don't yet know what features or changes might be included in the 11.2.5 update, but it likely focuses primarily on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major outward-facing changes.

The prior update, tvOS 11.2, allows the 4K Apple TV to automatically switch video display modes to match the native frame rate and dynamic range of video content. It also introduced a new Sports section for the dedicated TV app, offering up access to live sports games.

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Apple Releases Minor tvOS 11.2.1 Update With HomeKit Fix

Apple today released a new update for tvOS 11, the operating system designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TVs. tvOS 11.2.1 comes a little over one week after the release of the tvOS 11.2 update.

tvOS 11.2.1 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System --> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to the tvOS 11.2.1 automatically.


As a minor 11.x.x update tvOS 11.2.1 focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues that were discovered following the release of tvOS 11.2. The update, released alongside iOS 11.2.1, likely re-enables remote access for shared users of the Home app.

Apple disabled remote access for shared users when implementing a server-side fix for a major HomeKit vulnerability last week. Apple at the time said remote access would be re-enabled this week through software updates.

Following today’s tvOS 11.2.1 update, the HomeKit vulnerability is fully patched and remote access for shared users has been reinstated.



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Apple Bolsters Video Team With Hires From Hulu and Legendary Entertainment

Apple's original content video team continues to grow with the addition of two recently hired TV veterans who will handle business affairs for the division, reports Variety.

Philip Matthys, who previously worked for Hulu, and Jennifer Wang Grazier, who was with Legendary Entertainment, have both joined Apple. Matthys was hired last month, and Wang Grazier, who will report to Matthys, will start in January.

Image via Variety

Prior to joining Apple, Matthys was Hulu's head of business affairs, the same role he has now taken at Apple. At Hulu, where he handled dealmaking and policy, Matthys worked on "The Handmaid's Tale," "Marvel's Runaways," "The Looming Tower," "The First," and "Castle Rock."

Wang Grazier served as EVP, Business and Legal Affairs at Legendary, overseeing business and legal aspects related to TV and digital studios development. Wang Grazier worked on shows that include USA's "Colony," Netflix's "Love and Lost in Space," Hulu's "The Looming Tower," and Amazon's "Carnival Row."

Apple began building its new video division in June of 2017 with the hiring of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who now report to Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue. Erlicht and Van Amburg helped produce shows like "Breaking Bad," "Better Caul Saul," "The Crown," and more.

Erlicht and Amburg have made several hires since then, bringing on Matt Cherniss in August and former Amazon Studios executive Morgan Wandell in October, Michelle Lee just this month, and several other experienced TV execs over the last few months.

Apple's video team is has so far inked deals for two shows, including a reboot of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi series "Amazing Stories" and an untitled "morning show drama" that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.

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Apple’s ‘TV’ App Starts Showing Up for Users in the UK, France, and Germany

Apple's official TV app today started showing up for some fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV owners in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, almost a year after Apple originally announced the service in the U.S.


The TV app is billed as an easy way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in a single place. It offers a unified experience for accessing TV shows and movies across multiple video apps, and aims to help users discover new TV and movie content by offering recommendations based on what they've previously watched. The service syncs content in the cloud so users can pick up where they left off on other devices via the accompanying iOS TV app, which has also been appearing on devices across the pond.

More than 60 services are supported by the U.S. version of the TV app, but with the expansion to new countries, Apple is adding support for additional local content, such as ITV, Channel 5, and BBC iPlayer in the U.K.


Apple's TV app has been available in the United States since December of 2016. In September, Apple released the Apple TV app in Canada and Australia, and announced that it would be bringing the app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. by the end of the year.

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BBC iPlayer Update Hints at Imminent Release of Apple’s TV App in the UK

BBC's iPlayer app received an update this morning that is fueling speculation online that Apple's TV app will hit U.K. shores imminently.

iPlayer's changelog for version 4.35.0 of the app simply lists "support for the new Apple TV app, available to users with devices running iOS 11.2 and above".

Apple's TV app – billed as an easy way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in a single place – has been available in the United States since December of 2016, but remains absent from Apple TVs and iOS devices in the United Kingdom and across the rest of Europe.

In September, Apple released the Apple TV app in Canada and Australia, and announced that it would be bringing the app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. by the end of the year.


The BBC's mention is just the latest indication that the TV app should make an appearance very soon, in the U.K. at least.

Channel 5 was another British broadcaster Apple said it would be adding to its TV app, and last week the My5 app began appearing on Apple TVs. On Tuesday, ITV announced its ITV Hub was available on Apple TV, while Wednesday saw the global rollout of Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV, which also supports the native TV app.

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Hands-On With the New Amazon Prime Video App for Apple TV

The long-awaited Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV finally debuted today after a wait that spanned six months since it was first teased at WWDC.

Apple's set-top box is one of the last platforms to support the Amazon Prime Video app, which is now available on third, fourth, and fifth-generation Apple TV models. We spent the afternoon checking out the new app for a hands-on look at its feature set.

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If you've used the Amazon Prime Video app on an iOS device or on another platform like a console, the interface will be immediately familiar, organized into sections that include Originals, Movies, TV, Kids, Video Library, and more.

Content available from Amazon Prime Video includes TV shows like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and movies like "The Big Sick," with Amazon adding new options on a regular basis. Amazon Prime Video requires an Amazon Prime subscription, priced at $99 per year or $10.99 per month.

Movies and TV shows in Amazon Prime Video can be added to your Watchlist, which is synced across all of your devices, and the Apple TV's Siri Remote can be used to search for Amazon content from within the app.

Universal Search is also supported, so Amazon Prime Video content will come up in systemwide searches on the Apple TV, and integration with Apple's dedicated TV app is included in countries where the TV app is supported, with access to Up Next syncing and content recommendations.

Integration with the TV app is nice, as is Universal Search, because both features let you access Amazon content without needing to use the Amazon Prime Video interface.

For the 4K Apple TV and supported television sets, supported Amazon Prime Video content plays in 4K HDR.

Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV is available in more than 100 countries, and it is also available on iOS devices. [Direct Link]

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Apple’s Video Team Gains TV Programming Veteran Michelle Lee

The latest addition to Apple's video team is Michelle Lee, who is taking on a role as a creative executive, reports Variety. Lee will report to Matt Cherniss, the former president and general manager of WGN America who now leads development of Apple's worldwide video unit.

Prior to joining Apple, Lee worked with Jason Katims at the Universal Television-based True Jack Productions, where she helped develop and produce several series. "Rise," "The Path," "About a Boy," and "Pure Genius" are some of the shows that she worked on. Prior to that, she worked with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci on "Sleepy Hollow" and "Fringe."


Apple started building its new video division in June with the hiring of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who now report to Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue. Erlicht and Van Amburg helped produce shows like "Breaking Bad," "Better Caul Saul," "The Crown," and more.

Erlicht and Amburg have made several hires since then, bringing on Matt Cherniss in August and former Amazon Studios executive Morgan Wandell in October, along with other television executives.

Apple's video team is currently pursuing two shows, including a reboot of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi series "Amazing Stories" and an untitled "morning show drama" that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.

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Apple and Amazon Confirm Amazon Prime Video on tvOS Supports 4K HDR and ‘Up Next’ in TV App

Following the early morning launch of the long-awaited Amazon Prime Video tvOS app, both Apple and Amazon have now posted press releases about the launch, each confirming a few details about Prime Video on Apple TV.

Firstly, Apple's PR officially confirms that Amazon Prime Video does support Apple's centralized TV app. This means that users can use Siri Universal Search to find Amazon Prime Video content, and add it to their "Up Next" queue of shows and movies. Prime Video content will then appear within the TV app and users can immediately jump into their shows without needing to navigate to the Amazon app itself.


Some MacRumors staff members were able to get this working this morning, but it appears that Siri Universal Search and playback of Amazon shows within the TV app are not entirely rolled out yet, so you may have to wait a little longer to see these features functional on your own Apple TV. In total, Apple said that Prime Video brings the amount of TV episodes and movies that Siri can search on Apple TV to 1.3 million.
“Amazon Prime Video is one of the most eagerly anticipated apps to come to Apple TV, so we’re excited to bring all of that great content to customers,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
Importantly, Apple also mentioned that Prime Video is integrated into the TV app "where available," so users outside of the United States, Australia, Canada, Norway, and Sweden will still not be able to use the TV app.


Apple also confirmed that Prime Video for Apple TV "further expands the library of TV shows and movies available in 4K HDR on Apple TV 4K," so owners of the latest Apple TV will gain access to Amazon's 4K content with the new app.
“There is nothing that excites us more than delighting our customers, and we are thrilled for them to stream Prime Video on Apple TV,” said Mark Eamer, Vice President of Prime Video. “The app arrives just in time for the highly anticipated new season of The Grand Tour, which launches on December 8th, and Prime Video members streaming on the Apple TV 4K will have the exceptional viewing experience of 4K HDR.”
Apple went on to discuss the newly added Live Sports section of the TV app, as well as further touting the "hundreds of 4K HDR titles" that users can discover on iTunes. Additionally, the company pointed out that tvOS 11.2 now allows Apple TV 4K users to choose between having their video playback converted to the best format their TV can support, or outputting the video in its original frame rate and dynamic range. Check out more information on the tvOS 11.2 update right here.

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