New AppleTV - 10/13 Progress Update

It's been only two weeks since the last progress update, but a lot of exciting things have transpired during that time. There have been some big leaps forward in understanding how the new device works, and preparing new and existing aTV Flash apps to be compatible. Additionally we're kicking the door for 3rd party development wide open with a full SDK for the new, iOS based AppleTV. Without too many nitty gritty details, a snapshot of the current state of affairs is below.

Development Progress

We've been working diligently to transition many of the existing aTV Flash apps into new iOS based formats that will be compatible with the 2nd gen AppleTV. While we're not yet able to test these apps on the new AppleTV itself (awaiting AppleTV jailbreak - more details below) we have been able to do some preliminary testing/debugging on a few iPhones running the new AppleTV software. While this testing environment is not ideal by any means, it does allow for basic integration to begin. Credit for much of the groundwork that makes this testing environment possible goes to Dustin Howett.

Jailbreak Progress

Unlike previous versions of AppleTV, the new AppleTV runs a flavor of iOS. It's not identical to the iPhone or iPad versions, but iOS nonetheless. Because of this, aTV Flash black will rely on having a jailbroken AppleTV. As of today the AppleTV jailbreak is just about complete and barring any unexpected delays should be available this week. Once available, the efficiency with which aTV Flash black can be developed will be greatly increased. Big thanks to the Chronic Dev Team for their exceptional work.

3rd Party App Support

In addition to developing aTV Flash black, we wanted to open the door for others to develop their own AppleTV apps. We've partnered with Jim Dovey (an original pillar of the AppleTV app community) to create a full software development kit (SDK) for creating apps for the new AppleTV. This powerful set of tools will make creating great apps for the new AppleTV easier than ever. This SDK will include:

  • Complete stub and header libraries
  • Full Xcode integration with on-device debugging (like iPhone/iPad)
  • Robust simulator application

We plan to make the SDK available at no cost for non-commercial use. If you're planning to create an app that generates revenue in some way (via direct sales or ads) we'll have options for you as well. In the meantime we'd love to hear from you to start discussing ideas.   As always your thoughts and ideas are welcome in the comments section below? You can also contact us here.