Apple Redesigns Apple TV User Interface

November 12, 2009 | Chris Maxcer | Comments 0

by Chris Maxcer

AppleTV30-Nov2009-590x320Apple’s new Apple TV 3.0 software, available as a free update to Apple TV owners, gussies up the main interface to Apple TV by letting it use all the horizontal landscape on your widescreen HDTV.

“The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content,” noted Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio.”

The redesigned main menu on Apple TV looks snazzier than before, and basically gives you quicker access to your content, plus it highlights recently rented or purchased movies, TV shows, and the like for super-handy access. It also offers up selections of popular content for rent to buying.

With iTunes Extras, movie fans can get additional content such as deleted scenes, interviews, and interactive galleries. iTunes LP is the next evolution of the music album — as envisioned by Apple — delivering a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, and album credits.

Gimme Genius

AppleTV-300x250Now Apple TV users can enjoy Genius Mixes through their home theater system and listen to up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go great together, automatically generated from their iTunes library.

The current Apple TV catalog of movies features 8,000 Hollywood films on iTunes, 2,000 of which are available in HD for rent or purchase. There’s also 11 million songs, 10,000 music videos, and more than 50,000 TV episodes available for direct Apple TV purchase or rent. And podcasts? There’s a 175,000 free ones. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synced back to iTunes on the user’s computer for enjoyment on their Mac or PC or all current generation iPods or iPhones — except, this wasn’t working correctly for some users right out of the gate.

To fix the problem, Apple quickly dropped Apple TV 3.0.1, which users can download free from their Apple TV by unplugging the power cord and plugging it back in then going to Settings > General from the main menu and selecting Update Software. For more detail, check out the TS3116 Apple Support Doc.

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About the Author: Chris Maxcer is editor and publisher of He's been writing about the tech industry for years. While he enjoys wicked cool gear and design, there's something to be said for turning it all off — or most of it — to go outside. To contact him, take a firstname.lastname guess at

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