Week in Tech: Apple TV with iOS 9 would be a bigger deal than live TV

In this Week in Tech, our Stateside reporter Chris Smith enthuses about the potential for an Apple TV with iOS 9, while musing on the latest episode in the sorry Ashley Madison saga. In this week of highs and lows, Samsung may be ready to surprise us with an awesome smartwatch and one of the greatest American institutions suffers a saddening blow.

An Apple TV with iOS 9? Sign me up!
I’ve always felt the Apple TV box is a tad underrated. Since 2011 it has been one of the most used tech products in my house and, with an influx of on-demand apps this year, it continues to earn its very reasonably priced keep.

However, it’s clear Apple hasn’t really scratched the surface when it comes to the potential of its “hobby project.” This makes the prospect of an in-the-works Apple TV with full-bodied iOS 9 such an enticing and exciting prospect.

Forget the rumoured live TV streaming for a second (we’re probably going to have to forget it for a few more months), adding iOS 9 to Apple TV would effectively put an iPhone or iPad inside your TV. The possibilities for which are many and great.

Apple has perhaps the world’s richest and most varied digital content stores in the world, but one of the most important elements, the App Store, has been sorely missed on the Apple TV.

Opening up that library of apps to the Apple TV changes the game entirely.

Thousands of amazing games could be played on the telly without the AirPlay lag. There’d be Siri, powerful voice control, FaceTime calls, powerful weather apps, built-in iWork apps for presentations, improved search and even perhaps the potential for an Apple News video section with a tailored bulletin every morning.

A live TV service might not make the Apple TV the most desirable set-top box on the market, but iOS 9 absolutely would. Take my money already!

Related: iOS 9 Features: What’s New?
iOS 9

Embarrassing? Ashley Madison data dump is much, much worse
The icky Ashley Madison situation continues to make everyone involved look really bad. However, in among the bleakness of it all, the Impact Team statement that accompanied the cataclysmic data dump offered some rather optimistic advice.
 
“Move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it,” the group wrote.

For many folks, this is probably going to get a lot more than “embarrassing.” Sure, after potentially losing homes, custody and love of children, the respect of everyone they’ve ever known, one half of their family and their self-respect, maybe the worst affected will eventually “get over it.”

“Making amends” probably isn’t going to possible in many of these cases. The course of lives will be altered irrecoverably. Maybe deservedly so, but I’d rather not make sweeping judgements while knowing nothing about individual circumstances.

I suppose Ashley Madison customers knew they were risking it all when they handed over credit card details. Forget the failures of the technology, forget the purveyors of betrayal who failed in their promise of anonymity; this all starts with basic, human failures at the most primeval level.

The only folks who really stand to benefit from any of this are the blood-sucking divorce lawyers, who are already rubbing their palms together in anticipation for what could be an unprecedented deluge of filings.

Ashley Madison

Has Samsung finally cracked the smartwatch?
It’s a little too early to be sure, but the more I see of Samsung’s Gear S2 watch, the more I think the company might finally be onto something this time around.

The brief glimpses Samsung is serving up in the lead up to IFA 2015 look extremely promising from both a design and interface perspective. Meanwhile the spec-speculation suggests it’ll have the innards to match.

It really is poop or get off the pot time when it comes to smartwatches. You get the sense this is somewhat of a last throw of the dice for Samsung, which has ploughed billions into smartwatches with little to no reward. Noone’s buying them and every since one has taken a critical beating.

Meanwhile, Apple has entered the market and everything from traditional watchmakers to sportswear manufacturers are seeking a piece of the action. The Gear S2 can’t just be “ok” it has to be the best smartwatch yet. There’s a decent chance it could be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwn8qMaNoJk

Related: IFA 2015: What we expect to see

Checking bags at the cinema? I think I’ll just stay home now, thanks
In case you didn’t hear this week one of the largest cinema chains in the United States introduced a discretionary bag check policy as a result of recent shootings. That’s just sad on so many levels.

I’ve often thought of the movie theater as the great bastion of American escapism. Whatever is going on in your life, whatever bad stuff is happening in the world, you can go and sit in the dark for a couple of hours and escape from it.

It seems that’s about to die due to the unhealthy combination of lax gun laws and never being able to underestimate the willingness of unstable individuals to take advantage of that.

It makes you wonder about the future of the movie theater. With the drop in price of home cinema technology, bigger and better screens, and louder speakers are far more accessible.

With the ever-more pervasive presence of on-demand streaming services and the shortening of home release windows, it makes you wonder whether it’s really worth it… especially if you can’t even smuggle your own popcorn in anymore.