A new Apple acquisition could give the company some help accomplishing Steve Jobs’ vision of "the simplest user interface you could imagine" for your TV. Matcha offered a website and iPad app for searching across, and getting recommendations for, multiple video services including Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iTunes. The service abruptly disappeared in May, leaving users puzzled, but VentureBeat reports that the company was actually acquired by Apple, citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the deal. According to VentureBeat's source, the company sold for between $1 and $1.5 million, although another source disputes that figure.

Apple is acknowledging the acquisition while telling reporters that it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time" and generally doesn’t talk about its plans. VentureBeat points out that Matcha doesn’t have any valuable patents or a particularly large user base.

You can understand why Apple would want to help customers find what they're looking for

Apple has recently begun partnering with cable providers, exemplified by the Time Warner Cable iPad app (and rumored Apple TV app), and when those offerings are compounded with existing services like Netflix and others, you can understand why Apple would want to help customers find what they're looking for, even if that leads them away from the iTunes store. And while the Apple TV and the company’s long-rumored standalone TV set have necessarily taken a backseat to core products like the iPhone, CEO Tim Cook has said that Apple still has an "intense interest" in the TV market.