Feeds

Jailbreaker alert: Apple TV runs iOS

Future living room flatulence?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The word is out: Steve Jobs' hobby, the Apple TV, runs iOS — which is an interesting revelation for both jailbreakers and productization prognosticators.

This news comes from The Unofficial Apple Weblog, TUAW, which reports that an unnamed tipster has discovered a configuration descriptor in the recently released iOS 4.1 beta that clearly identifies the Apple TV as the mysterious "iProd" — a descriptor that was previously used to identify the iPad before its release.

Steve Jobs introducing the Apple TV on September 1, 2010

Every busy executive should have a hobby — Steve Jobs' leisure pursuit is the Apple TV

When Jobs announced the Apple TV back on September 1, he made no mention of what operating system was powering his cloudy hobby. The interface he demoed at the roll-out event was similar to that used by the original — and arguable unsuccessful — first-generation Apple TV, and bore no resemblance to the SpringBoard UI that graces the iPhone/Pad/Pod.

But if TUAW's source is correct, the Apple TV UI is simply an app running on top of iOS 4.2 — and if the history of iOS is any guide, enterprising hackers should be able to jailbreak the Jobsian hobby box soon after its release at the end of this month.

Steve Jobs introducing the Apple TV on September 1, 2010

The Apple TV's UI doesn't look like the one used by iPhone/Pad/Pod — but there's no reason why it should

The question, of course, is: "So what?" Although jailbreaking the Apple TV might enable you, for example, to slip another UI beneath the Apple TV's media-management app — a version of PogoPlank, possibly? — whether that UI could control any additional apps is unclear.

Since the Apple TV is designed for streaming, not local storage, and since the relatively low price tag ($99 in the US) points to relatively low — if any — storage capabilities beyond that needed for boot routines and OS, odds are there won't be much room for jailbreakers to play in.

But if the Apple TV runs iOS — and the concomitant probability that it's powered by the same A4 processor that's in the iPad and the latest versions of the iPhone and iPod touch — there's the interesting possibility that what Jobs demoed on September 1 is not a second-generation Apple TV, but a first-generation living-room invasion that'll eventually play games, browse the web, run productivity apps, and, yes, even fart. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.