As the anticipation builds for Apple's upcoming announcements on Oct 16 2014, the lion's share of the predictions have set expectations for a variety of new iPads. Despite them being thinner than their predecessors (and perhaps in testimony to Moore's Law), the iPads are expected to perform better and, for improved security, they're expected to incorporate Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanning technology (see ProgrammableWeb's record for Apple's Touch ID API).
But according to Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, the new iPads could also usher in a significant change to Apple's approach to Apple TV; one that will create new opportunities for developers. StreetInsider.com reports that Chowdry's research with developers has revealed how Apple TV will move from being a hardware-specific platform to a software-platform that could run on any iOS-based device and that will include APIs that make it possible for developers to build a variety of applications that they can sell through an Apple TV-specific app store.
To emphasize the potential of its new platforms at its launches, Apple typically works closely with a few developers to build some applications that will result in dazzling demonstrations. According to Chowdry's notes, Apple is already working with Facebook, Twitter, CNBC, and Disney. Between the two content providers and the two social networks, Chowdry speculates that the new Apple TV platform will usher in an era of "social TV" whereby viewers will not only be able to engage more directly with video content during playback, but they'll also be able to extend their social graphs to include information about what they're watching (or have watched).
Done right, such social graph extensions could include the ability to share freeze frames replete with pre-programmed metadata about the content, the people on screen, etc. and links that can drive friends to view that same content on demand. If Apple is including CNBC in its pilot, one can only imagine what the possibilities are when it comes to tying realtime financial metadata to video content being shared across social networks. Likewise, between the entertainment, news, and sports media properties included in Disney's portfolio, the possibilities for something like social TV are nearly endless.
According to Chowdry, the timing of the new platform isn't exactly certain. It could launch on Oct 16 with the new iPads. Or, it might be timed to launch with Apple's Watch in 2015.