Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 10:44 am.

The Apple TV App Store Can’t Be Too Far Away

Apple TV owners just got a bunch more channels: Vevo, the Weather Channel, more from Disney, and Smithsonian. This follows a recent update that added HBO Go and ESPN apps, and represents a continued acceleration of new content being added to Apple TV.

My guess is that the individual companies — not Apple — are making these apps. As The Verge’s Greg Sandoval reported in June, HBO’s app was made completely in-house — “100 percent created by our software and design staff.”

  • This suggests some sort of Apple TV SDK is in functional shape for outsiders to use, and could eventually be distributed publicly the way it is for iOS and OS X.
  • Then there’s the App Store component that needs to be figured out — sooner than later, I hope, as the Apple TV home screen is now starting to get cluttered, and I’d like more control over what’s there.
  • There is the problem, now, that Apple TV’s UI looks nothing like iOS 7. Perhaps that will be figured out first?
  • And what about navigation control? So far, these have been simple video apps. Assuming there’s a future in Apple TV gaming and other more sophisticated apps, there’s more work left, both hardware and software.

Still, it seems we’re getting closer to a real Apple TV App Store. I’ve been on this case since 2010, and it turns out that my enthusiasm was premature. But things seem to be moving in the right direction.