Proof Apple is Building a TV?
In a new patent filing uncovered by AppleInsider, the Mac maker reveals its plans to build a tool that could allow everyday iOS users to develop their own apps.
The prospects are amazing, but let's not get carried away just yet: by eliminating the challenges of traditional app creation (read: hours/weeks/months of intense programming), Average Joes and Janes will not be able to create the kinds of apps that are made by a professional.
I could spend hours speculating on what will or won't come of this intriguing concept, but I'm going to skip all that and cut to an interesting tidbit that's hidden within the patent filing: Apple wants users' homemade content to be displayable on multiple screens with various resolutions, including computers and television sets.
While this is not the first time that Apple has attempted to bridge the gap between iOS devices and Macs/TVs, it is interesting to see that the company is spending so much time on this effort. If nothing else, this means that Apple will continue to integrate the iPad and iPhone experience with our existing flat-screens from Samsung, Sony (NYSE: SNE), and Panasonic (NYSE: PC). Or it might very well be a part of Apple's (rumored) plans to develop and manufacture a TV set of its own.
Apple values scalability. It wants iPhone games to be playable on the iPad and vice versa. You might not get both of them with one download (that's typically up to the developer or publisher of the app). But Apple wants that flexibility so it can offer as many apps as possible, to as many customers as possible. By making a particular app exclusively for the iPhone or iPad, true flexibility cannot be obtained.
However, if Apple doesn't sell its own TV, large-screen resolutions don't matter. It can toy around with the concept and offer it to those who care. But how many iPad users are taking advantage of this feature? How many people really prefer to take their ultra-portable device, plop in front of the TV, and turn it into a living room experience? When consumers want that, they turn to DVDs, Blu-ray, cable, and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). Or a game console, if video games are what they crave. But when they reach for their iPad, they don't necessarily want to be tethered to the couch.
Apple knows this, which is why most apps are designed for handheld, portable entertainment -- not big-screen fun. If, however, Apple was making a TV of its own, it would have every reason to continually encourage the development of higher-res apps -- even those made by an everyday iOS user.
If you don't think that this gives us any reason to believe that Apple is developing a TV, that's okay. But you should ask yourself one question: if Apple isn't making a television of its own, why hasn't it flooded the Apple TV set-top box with apps? Sales of apps soar whenever a new iOS device is released. There is a lot of potential to turn Apple TV into a hub for home entertainment. But that can't happen without Apple's support.
Of course, if Apple is making a TV, it would have every reason to keep apps far away from Apple TV, thus making the actual TV much more appealing when it arrives.
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