At Apple’s annual September event in 2015, the company finally released the long awaited (and much needed) upgrade to the Apple TV. The fourth-generation Apple TV featured an A8 processor – the same one found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and also introduced the new tvOS operating system complete with an App Store. The popularity of the fourth-generation device has led to a renewed interest in the Apple TV by the company, and it appears as if a fifth-generation Apple TV is in the works.
Last month, Apple hired former Amazon Fire TV Chief Timothy D. Twerdhal to head its television operations division. Not long after the hiring, Bloomberg reported that Apple was testing a fifth-generation Apple TV box, internally codenamed “J105.” While not much is known yet about the new device, the fifth-generation Apple TV will reportedly support 4k streaming video, a feature that, surprisingly, wasn’t supported on the 4th-generation model. However, more evidence that a fifth-generation device is on the way has surfaced.
Firi Games, the gaming company who developed popular shoot’em up games Phoenix HD and the sequel, Phoenix II, told MacRumors that they spotted an identifier for a new Apple TV running a new version of tvOS show up in the logs for their Phoenix HD game. A single device, identified as “AppleTV6,2” running “tvOS 11.0” connected to the game with an IP address which, according to MacRumors, “falls within a range linked to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.” For reference, the current Apple TV carries an identifier of “AppleTV5,3.”
This isn’t the first time developer logs have revealed Apple devices before their official release. In January of 2013, several app developers spotted devices featuring “iPhone6,1” identifiers running iOS 7 in their logs, over half a year before the iPhone 6 hit the shelves.
At the moment, it’s unclear as to when the fifth-generation Apple TV will likely be announced, or really what kind of upgrades it will feature. With the rise in popularity of 4k televisions, and the increase in availability of 4k content, it’s pretty much a given that the new device will feature 4k support. A more powerful processor is also expected. However, mum has been the word on any other new features, and not many rumors have surfaced surrounding what kind of functionality the next generation of tvOS will add.