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Apple Overhauls Apple TV, Adds Touch-Sensitive Controller

The new Apple TV is here, and the revamped version of the set-top box looks -- and acts -- absolutely nothing like its predecessor.
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The new Apple TV is here, and the revamped version of the set-top box looks — and acts — very little like its predecessor.

The overhauled Apple TV, which the company announced at its annual fall product unveiling in San Francisco on Wednesday, includes a long list of new features. It starts at $149 for the 32GB version, and $199 for 64GB.


There's a fancy new remote, a universal search that will let users see all of the sources where on-demand content may be available (iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and Showtime for now, with more to come), integration with Apple's Siri voice assistant, a dedicated App Store and the ability to use the controller like a gamepad.

"Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative," said CEO Tim Cook on stage. "We believe the future of television is apps."

No more searching for the right button on a complicated controller — the new "Siri remote" has just six buttons, but you'll probably be using the touchpad to control things directly on the TV. A new set of simple gestures lets you rewind, pause, get more info and more.

Meanwhile, the voice control makes it easy to search for your favorite actors and shows without having to browse through lists or type them out. Voice commands also allow for switching apps, searching on the web, or checking the score of a recent game.

Speaking of games, the app store will be full of games that take advantage of the touch-sensitive controller: hold it like a gamepad and it works like one.

The new Apple TV will ship in late October.