Apps take center stage in Apple's new set top box.
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB
October 26, 2015, 12:59 PM
• 3 min read
-- Apple is ready to deliver on its promise of bringing the revamped Apple TV to living rooms by the end of October.
Pre-orders for the new set top boxes, which come in two sizes, are set to begin today, with units shipping later this week, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who announced the news last week at WSDJLive, The Wall Street Journal’s global technology conference.
Apps are the stars of the new Apple TV experience, with users now having access to the entire app store via their Apple TV. The refreshed set top box was first shown last month at Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus event in San Francisco.
The device comes with two storage options: $149 for 32 GB and $199 for 64 GB. Among its features is the Siri remote which simplifies how users navigate and select content. It features a glass touch surface for you to control with your hand, or you can use your voice to search shows and movies by cast, title genre or popularity.
Siri integration lets users speak commands into their remote, such as "Find the best funny movies from the '80s" and "Find the 'Modern Family' episode with Edward Norton." The remote battery lasts three months and can be charged with a lightning connector.
At the event last month, Apple also showed off demonstrations of gaming and shopping capabilities, putting the spotlight on re-designed apps for the TV experience, like Gilt, that let a user shop from the comfort of his or her living room. Apple releases its developer's kit -- called tvOS -- to developers in September to let them get a head start on revamping their apps and creating new experiences.