WWDC 2015 - Announcement Speculation Extraordinaire

Apple posted it’s announcement for this years WWDC today and, as Gruber pointed out, it really looks like there is a AppleTV shaped device centered in the invite. While it’s always fun to speculate on the meaning of these teases (and in hindsight they do end up being obvious nods to what’s being announced) it’s important to be careful how much is read into them.

Even so, it is fun to pull the announcement apart! While I think Gruber is right to see an AppleTV highlighted there, I pointed out 1 there was a big similarity to the color scheme of the announcement and the Game Center iOS app icon 2. I am hopeful I’m right as I’ve been pining for a AppleTV Gaming Update for years! 3 Apple is sitting on a gold mine of entertainment options for casual and even higher end gaming by simply adding an AppStore to the AppleTV and tweaking the interface to accommodate such a change.

The rumors include mention of Siri being integrated tightly with the new device. The new focus on Siri with the Watch has certainly ramped up it’s importance, at least to Apple, in how they view the product. The new landing page for Siri includes an in depth review unlike anything I remember seeing for other software products Apple releases and I expect we’ll see Siri take a larger role going forward, including the inevitable launch on MacOS.

But when you think about Siri integration it becomes evident the whole device would need to be rethought. Will you activate Siri by yelling at your TV, “Hey, Siri!” or will you first have to interact with the remote? Will there be a different activation phrase to keep from dictating to your plugged in iOS devices? I’m not sure what the new interaction will look like in practice but I can’t wait to try it. But this raises another question, will we see it on the third-generation AppleTV? If it’s anything like the iPhone rollout’s of yore then more than likely, we will see some improvements added but a full feature set rolled out to the older AppleTV.

There is so much more to this announcement that the rumor mill has me excited about: TV subscription services, reworked remotes, HomeKit integration (fueled by the tagline in the announcement, promising “The epicenter of change”). The possibilities are there. I know they’ve focused hard on building the watch but the AppleTV feels so behind in what you could do with it (and what competitors are trying to do in that space) that Apple could really set the stage. Even the current AppleTV is underutilized in capability, I feel like there is so much more room for improvement with it to take advantage of. I’m honestly more excited by the prospect of this than the Watch. Apple has spent the last 8 years training us to ditch a watch and put a iPhone in our pockets all while helping drive users to a massive change in our media consumption methods. The TV is prime for a shift and there are people who are eager for options outside of the confines of cable subscriptions. The Watch will do fine but the real disruption is waiting in the living room.

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