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Apple Byte: Is Apple working on an Apple TV/Airport Express combo?

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Apple Byte: Is Apple working on an Apple TV/Airport Express combo?

5:21 /

It's all the latest Apple TV rumors. Will the Apple TV be a TV? Will it have a TV tuner? Or will it merge with the Airport Express?

-What's good? I'm Brian Tong and welcome to the Apple Byte for all of the good and bad inside the world of Apple, and believe or not, this show will not contain a single recycled iPhone rumor that's similar to something you've heard 2 years ago. All right, let's get to the show and the Apple TV is really on my mind after recently it was elevated to full product status with its own section next to the Mac's iPads and iPhones on the main header of the Apple store page. A report from 9to5Mac claims Apple's making progress with the next generation of the Apple TV that's said to be a full set-top box instead of a stand-alone television set that's likely to be released in the first half of 2014. Let's just call it the Apple not a TV TV. Now, iLounge reports that Apple is preparing an update that will add game and support sometime in March, the Apple TV has continued to get new partners for content and the idea of apps or a game store has been rumored for a while, but a new focus on gaming utilizing existing iPads and iPhones and iPods as controllers is expected. Now, the latest reports claim that Apple is considered combining the Apple TV and AirPort Express products with versions of the new Apple TV including an integrated 802.11ac router for improved video quality and stability compared to the current Apple TVs. 9to5Mac also says Apple has been testing versions of the Apple TV with a built-in TV tuner component giving it the ability to control your existing cable boxes and TV stations. Now, we've seen products like this like the failed Google TV and even the Xbox One is similar, but the idea would be putting an Apple design user interface on top of your existing setup through the Apple TV. So, there's lots happening behind the scenes with Apple TV and we'll see how it all shakes out. Now, Apple recently announced they're earning for the first fiscal quarter of 2014, posting a record quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion and a quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion. Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones, a record of 26 million iPads and Macs were up selling 4.8 million units compared to the same quarter last year, but Wall Street still wasn't happy enough with the growth. You'll always get a few good nuggets of info during the Q&A session and when question about new revenue from new product lines, CEO Tim Cook said Apple plans to launch new products in categories where it currently doesn't operate, and now the company has no issue coming up with new projects to work on. Cook also expanded on Touch ID and when he was asked about mobile payments, he said, "Mobile payments, in general, is one that we've been intrigued with and one of the thoughts behind Touch ID. We're not limiting ourselves just to that, but there's a big opportunity on the platform." Now a Wall Street Journal report says Apple is planning to allow customers to purchase physical goods from other retailers through an iTunes account using the iTunes account as the transaction middle man and Touch Id to authorize transactions. And it's still a long ways out from happening, but I've always been a huge fan of the cellphone as a wallet since I used it in Japan in 2005 and I'm just waiting for it to really get here. And some cool Apple news, Apple has granted a patent filed in 2010 for a laptop with a two-sided glass display housing. It would have the usual screen on the front face, but the rear side, would hold photovoltaic cells for solar charging, a secondary display, and sensors for touch input. Just thinking of pointing the back of your laptop to the light source to power it, or I like to call it booty to the sun. The patent says the rear could be made of electrochromatic glass, it's a material that can change states from translucent to transparent when voltage is applied across its surface and touch controls on the rear side could unlock a magnetic latch mechanism or be used for media control or other software inputs. And it's just one of the cool ideas Apple's been playing with, but it doesn't mean we'll be seeing it anytime soon. The big A was also awarded patents for [unk] lenses and camera modules to portable electronic devices. It includes magnetically attaching the camera module that would fit on something like an iPhone and aligned with its camera to extend its picture taking capabilities. The external lens would have movable parts, allowing it to do things like zoom, autofocus, and resist shaking. Now, there's already several third party lens attachments on the market and again, it doesn't mean Apple is releasing this, but it's something they've been cooking. All right guys, let's announce the winners for our Kensington Thin Folio with Keyboard for the iPad Air giveaway and the name of the song that was playing on the background 2 episodes ago was Boston's More Than a Feeling and, you know I was having more than a feeling if you know what I'm saying. All right, congrats go to emails winners Jason Ricke, Nancy Esquerra, who really wants a purple case, and Jeannie Campbell, and a major fill goes to Steven Kokko who taught it was Beyonce's Single Ladies or Spice Girl's Wannabe, he got it wrong both times. -You gotta get with my friends. Gotta get with my friends. Make it last forever, friendship never ends. -And our Twitter winners go to PA Mills, Alden Wong, and Kelsey Unger, so congrats again and we'll be in touch. All right, that's gonna do it for this week's show. Remember to email us at the applebyte@cnet.com <mailto:applebyte@cnet.com> or tweet me @briantong and yeah, I'll talk to you if I feel like it. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching and we'll catch you guys next week for another Byte of the Apple.

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