Avid readers will know that references to new Apple TV hardware were found in Apple's tvOS 13.4 beta code and now, the YouTube channel iUpdate and The Verifier are reporting on a few details about the so-called "Apple TV 6" set-top box, as well as upcoming tvOS updates. Such an upgrade strategy may also be based on the consideration of Apple Arcade.
tvOS 13.4 introduces some small design changes to streamline the look of the TV app and it adds Family Sharing integration so users can access iTunes content purchased by family members without having to leave the app. Similar to the way it works on Apple's other platforms, the feature would allow parents to control the amount of time children spend watching Apple TV programming. Additionally, entire apps can be blocked.
The new Kids Mode, it's worth noting, isn't just about blocking content.
"In the storage area, Apple is expected to abandon the 32 GB version so that the initial storage volume will be 64 GB and reach up to 128 GB", the website reported, but gave no specific evidence from sources confirming this news.
Kids Mode reportedly will highlight content aimed at children in various age groups across multiple third-party providers.
Aside from Kids Mode, the report adds that Apple plans to add screen time management features to tvOS. It's been a while since we've seen an Apple TV refresh, so hopefully this particular rumor pans out. As a point of contrast, the current Apple TV boasts an A10X fusion chip.
The new Kids Mode and Screen Time features will nearly certainly be software features of tvOS, rather than being dependent on new Apple TV hardware, although with tvOS 13.4 likely to be released this week, it's a safe bet that we won't see these until tvOS 14 arrives in the fall.
The last new Apple TV - with 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos - was launched in late 2017, so it's due a power up even if the 4K HDR support won't be upgraded.
A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. There will also be a model with 128GB of storage for those who want to pay a little bit extra. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW.