Apple TV Software Update Released
January 29, 2013

Apple Adds Bluetooth Keyboard Support To Apple TV

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

All manner of Apple devices are getting some update love this week. Yesterday, iOS 6.1 was released, bringing LTE support and improved iTunes Match and Apple Maps functionality to all compatible iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices.

The Apple TV, too, received some updated software in version 5.2, bringing with it iTunes in the cloud, Up Next and support for Bluetooth keyboards. According to Cult of Mac, some eagle-eyed developers have already found some references to an unreleased piece of hardware – called the AppleTV3,2 – in the latest version of the software.

According to Buster Heine, this could be a placeholder for a slightly updated third generation Apple TV with an A6 chip rather than the proper TV set that´s been predicted for years now.

With version 5.2, Apple has brought some more iCloud features to the Apple TV, such as iTunes in the cloud. Before, only those users who had paid for iTunes Match could access their music directly from the hockey puck box. Now, users can listen to anything they´ve purchased from the iTunes store, just as it´s been on iOS devices and Macs since iCloud was first introduced. Users also have the choice to share their libraries via Home Sharing. iTunes 11´s Up Next feature also makes its way to the new version of the Apple TV software, allowing listeners to see what song is slated to be played next.

Just like it sounds, Up Next gives listeners a view of what´s soon to play in their mix. These listeners can then move the songs around, skip to a song, move it ahead in the order, or even search for other songs they´d rather hear first.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, the new Apple TV software update brings Bluetooth keyboard support, meaning Apple TV owners can now use their Bluetooth keyboards as remote controls for the Apple TV. Using the arrow keys, enter and escape keys and even spacebar, users can navigate through the menus. While it´s always nice to have another way to navigate through these menus, using the Bluetooth keyboard as a remote isn´t any easier than using the iOS app, except for when passwords need to be entered, which isn´t all that often.

What´s exciting is the promise of what else Apple could do with Bluetooth support, such as support for video game controls.

Though many still believe Apple will release their own television set sometime this year or next, these software updates and any other update Apple delivers to their existing set top box are still promising offerings from Apple.

Software version 5.2 is available now for all compatible devices.