The focus of Apple’s special event was obviously the new, Retina Display-equipped iPad, however, Apple also revealed an updated Apple TV and iOS 5.1.
The new iteration of Apple TV looks exactly the same as the old one, but inside it has changed quite considerably. Rather than outputting either 480p or 720p content, the new box ignores 480p and deals only in HD 720p and 1080p video.
While video is still sent over HDMI, the new Apple TV has a dual-core A5 chip inside instead of the old A4 single-core model. The software has been updated from iOS 4.4 to iOS 5, and with it comes a completely new interface with a more iPhone-like look, including Cover Flow, easier access to apps and the Genius feature.
Since it runs iOS 5, Apple TV now has access to iCloud, so any iTunes movies or TV shows stored there can shared. Photo Stream has also been included, so photos taken with your iPhone will automatically show up there for viewing on your TV.
A new version of iOS has also been released. iOS 5.1 is a moderate update which doesn’t include any standout features. In addition to some bug fixes and Japanese language support for Siri, the iPhone’s camera app has been treated to a design overhaul, multiple face recognition indicators and a shortcut added to the lock screen permanently.
It’s a relatively small 200MB file and should be available as an over-the-air update, or through iTunes, when you read this. The new Apple TV retains the same price as the old model, and is available for pre-order today.