Apple TV 2 with "Magic Wand" Revealed in Steve Jobs Email

Apps and web browser were top priority for the refresh of Apple’s set-top box

By Filip Truta on April 5th, 2014 11:01 GMT

An email exchange between the top brass at Apple back in 2010 has surfaced as part of the legal dispute between the Mac maker and Samsung Electronics, providing a treasure trove of information about Steve Jobs’ plans with the company nearly four years ago.

One of the hottest key points in the Defendant’s Exhibit No. 489.245 is the part where Jobs outlines the company’s strategy for winning over the living room once and for all with a Wii-like remote control scheme, along with new interface for the Apple TV, complete with apps and a full-fledged web browser. The excerpt in question can be found below

“Apple TV 2 - David Moody, Jeff Robbin
- Strategy: stay in the living room game and make a great "must have" accessory for iOS devices
- sales so far, projections for this holiday season
- add content:
- NBC, CBS, Viacom, HBO, ...
- TV subscription?
- where do we go from here?
- apps, browser, magic wand?”

While the apps and the browser need no further explanation, the reference to a “magic wand” is particularly intriguing, knowing that Apple has actually filed for patents describing functionality similar to that of the Nintendo Wii Remote.

In essence, this point-and-click device would forever solve a problem we are currently facing today, in that most of the TV’s interface is locked up in pre-defined buttons on a clunky controller with no way for the user to understand the functions at first glance.

Moving these controls over to the screen - coupled with an all-new interface - was probably what Steve Jobs was referring to when he said he’d “finally cracked it” in Walter Isaacson’s biography.

The bad news is Samsung and the rest of the world now knows exactly what Apple’s plans are with the living-room. The good news is this product could be closer to fruition than ever. Rumor has it that this new TV box is almost ready for launch.

One of the more exciting features of this product is said to be access to an all-new game store, or the very iTunes App Store we all use to download apps on our iPhones and iPads. With iOS 7 opening support for third-party wireless controllers, such a move would essentially turn the Apple TV into a full-fledged game console.

Apple so far has only confirmed the schedule for its Worldwide Developers Conference, but 2014 has just started. Chances are there’s an event lined up even earlier, if the rumors are true.
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