Since Steve Jobs passed away this fall, there's been much speculation about what he had in the pipeline at Apple. Many of the rumors and reports have focused on the possibility of Apple releasing its own television set and changing the way TV content is distributed and consumed. And this week, a new report in The Wall Street Journal is fanning the speculative fires. Here, four rumors about Apple's television:
1. It's really happening
"Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs." That's the opening line of a report in The Wall Street Journal that adds fresh validity to the rumors. The article reports that Apple execs have discussed the project with big shots at a number of major media companies in recent weeks. And according to Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson, Jobs had some very big plans. "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Isaacson recalls Jobs saying. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud… It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."
2. Siri is on board
Multiple sources speculate that Apple's TV will respond to voice commands, just like the iPhone 4S does with Siri. Users might be able to flip through channels or search for a specific TV show by simply talking to their television. They might also be able to control the device using body movements.
3. iPads and iPhones will be remote controls
Looking for the lost remote could become a thing of the past; instead, a user will just point his phone or tablet at the screen, says Jared Newman at TIME. "The Apple TV set-top box already allows users to stream from apps and select content through their iPhones or iPads, so it's a given that an Apple television would have similar capabilities."
4. "Apps are the new channels"
I bet Jobs' big idea was making each TV channel an individual app, says John Gruber at Daring Fireball. This is already starting to happen on the iPhone and iPad, with the likes of HBO Go, Bloomberg TV+, and Watch ESPN. "Why not the same thing for TV-sized displays?" It could be like "Newsstand" on the iPad and iPhone, which houses different apps for various magazines and newspapers. Doing the same thing for TV shows would let each network design its own app, giving them greater flexibility.