It’s nice to know that Steve Jobs and his faithful army of Apple engineers are still able to find time to spend on the company’s hobby. I’m talking about the Apple TV of course, which today received a minor software update.
The Apple TV Software Update 2.3 adds the following features to the company’s set-top box:
- the ability to stream music via AirTunes to Airport Express-connected speakers or other Apple TVs connected to same local network
- improved support for third-party remote controls
- playlists in iTunes that contain Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Music Videos can now be seen on Apple TV
- support for volume control in Music
Although this latest update is a minor one, it’s at least proof that Apple hasn’t abandoned the Apple TV completely. Having said that, the company’s Internet TV set-top box is starting to look really long in the tooth with it’s closed nature (the 2.3 update breaks existing hacks) and nearly sole existence within the iTunes eco-system.
As I’ve argued many times before, Apple should open up the Apple TV to third-party developers or at least take a page from TiVo’s book and partner more aggressively, something that the company seems loathed to do in order to protect sales of movies and TV shows through the iTunes Store.
On that note, I wonder how Steve Jobs feels about the prospect of YouTube, a third-party video service the Apple TV does support, adding full-length movies and television shows from major Hollywood studios.