It appears some Apple users playing around with the Beta version of an Apple TV 7.0 software update have discovered that the set-top box will likely receive integrated support for Apple’s new Continuity feature when update is released this fall. Continuity, which Apple revealed as a central facet of its new OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 at WWDC earlier this month, further syncs together Apple’s already close-knit line of mobile and desktop devices, specifically by making it much easier for users to transfer what they’re doing on one device to another, seamlessly.
9to5Mac reported that users running betas of iOS, OS X Yosemite, and Apple TV 7.0 have come across notifications that all but confirm integrated Continuity (specifically, the “Handoff” feature) support for OS X Yosemite. Developers experimenting with the OS 10.10 (AKA Yosemite) preview build who have both their Mac and Apple TV connected to the same Wi-Fi network are getting notifications that their “Apple TV is now available for Continuity.”
Handoff essentially allows all of your iOS and OS X devices to link up to one another, so long as they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and synced to the same iCloud account (without WiFi, you’ll need to use the iPhone’s new Instant Hotspot feature).
Say you get an email alert on your iPhone, but would prefer not to type up your answer on that small of a screen. With Handoff enabled, if the Mail app is open on your iPhone, the message will automatically show up on your Mac, ready for you to complete with the aid of a larger screen and keyboard. The same works in reverse.
With such a feature extended to the Apple TV, one could imagine swapping video from iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the big screen via the set-top box, and vise-versa, but that’s not exactly the sexiest capability now that we’re here in 2014, is it? Considering that the set-top box’s price in the U.K. just dropped by £20, and the fact that a new Apple TV model was expected to hit shelves by … well … now, it’s not a huge stretch to say that all of this could very well mean that Apple is prepping a new model for release this fall. It’s difficult to speculate just what a new box could have on board, though in the past we’ve hoped it would deliver on Apple’s visions of Internet-delivered broadcast TV. But while it’s certainly possible that a new model could carry such a feature, we’re thinking Apple will, at least in the short-term, lean toward less ambitious functions such as Siri-supported voice searching, whose addition to the box’s next model was confirmed through the iOS 7.1 software development kit.
For now it appears that, in the event that Apple TV does end up getting Continuity support, it will be limited to the third generation of the set-top box, as the feature requires the use of a particular low-powered Bluetooth chip that only the 3rd-gen box supports.