(Pocket-lint) - Apple finally unveiled the new Apple TV during its September event and now the device is available to buy.
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage after the iPad Pro was unveiled to talk about "an even bigger screen". He emphasised that today is the "golden age of television" - even though the television experience has been "virtually standing still while innovation in the mobile space has been racing ahead".
Apple hopes to change all that with the new device, however. The refreshed set-top box comes with plenty of new software features, under the hood changes and an all-new remote to boot. Here is everything the new Apple TV can do.
All-new Apple TV box
The new Apple TV looks a lot like the old Apple TV, but bigger. It's mostly different in that it has a new operating system, Siri-backed universal voice search feature, and an app store that offers not only apps but also games. It even comes with a touch- and motion-sensitive remote.
The new Apple TV weighs 425g and has the following dimensions: 33 x 98 x 98mm. It's powered by an A8 chip and supports H.264 video up to 1080p (60 frames per second). It also has a number of ports (like USB‑C) for connecting to your TV, service and support, and more.
And all that will only cost you £129 or $149 for a new Apple TV with 32GB of internal storage. There's also a 64GB model for £169 or $199. Shipping has now begun.
New tvOS, app store, and gaming
Apple believes the future of television is apps, probably because, according to the company, over 60 per cent of pay-TV streaming video is consumed on an Apple device via an app. So, with that in mind, Apple has created a new foundation for Apple TV. It runs something called tvOS, which offers universal apps that work across phone, tablet, and the TV. Apps will therefore have continuity among devices.
Apple's tvOS is based on iOS and built for the living room. The new Apple TV not only has a modern OS but also a new user interface and - wait for it - an actual app store. You can even play games with Apple TV using the box's new remote (more on that later). But if your friends don't have a remote, don't worry. Up to four players can join a game with their iPhones or iPod touches.
The Apple TV's new interface actually looks like the existing interface, though it's more refined and intuitive and has a white background instead of a black one. The focus is definitely on content. Also, Apple seems to believe you will want to shop via TV, so it's providing ways to view products on your screen as well as buy with a button push.
Sports fans can also get alerts from different games, and they can watch two at a time with a split screen. There's also new screensavers; Apple TV will display day or night shots depending on time of day.
Siri and universal search
Based on the demos and adverts aired during Apple's event, voice search via Siri appears to be the primary way to navigate on the new Apple TV. And a universal search function will help you to search across apps like iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.
Although rival devices, such as the Amazon Fire and Roku, already offer a similar search feature, Apple's iteration seems a bit more polished. You can search for "Show me that Office episode with Will Ferrell", and Siri will bring you to the Office's page with the episode selected.
You can also ask Siri to do a quick rewind by 15 seconds. Just ask "What did she/he say?", and Siri will rewind for you. You can even ask for sports scores and the weather forecast while you watch shows.
Touch remote/motion game controller
There is an all-new remote for the Apple TV. The remote has a few buttons (menu button, display button, Siri button, play/pause, and volume), dual-mics for Siri, and a glass touchpad. You can fast forward by swiping on the touch pad.
Also, if you turn the remote sideways, it becomes a game controller. Apple demoed how games like Hipster Whale's Crossy Road work on the new Apple TV and with the new remote. Just swipe the remote to move left or right, and click to move forward.
Harmonix took the stage during the announcement of the new Apple TV to talk about Beat Sports - a music game for the family. It showed how you'll be able to hit pitches by swinging the new remote. That's right. Apple TV's new remote features motion control.
The remote sports an accelerometer and gyroscope. It uses a Lightning connector to charge and lasts three months on a single charge. It also supports Bluetooth 4.0, so can you control volume and switch power using HDMI CEC. Pointing the remote at the box is not required.
Want to know more?
Check out Pocket-lint's Apple TV hub for all the latest information on Apple's set-top box. Also, Apple has a new Apple TV webpage that fully lists every feature and all the tech specs you want to know.