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Apple TV may get software update, but no new hardware, at next week's iPhone event

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Apple TV 2012 hero (EMBARGO)
Apple TV 2012 hero (EMBARGO)

If you're hoping for a brand new Apple TV to make its debut at the iPhone launch event next week, you're reportedly in for a letdown. Despite rumors that Apple would unveil a new set-top streaming device, both All Things D and 9to5Mac reported today that Apple TV is sticking with its current hardware set up. But while the hardware side of things is staying the same, both publications also say that Apple has some significant software updated in store for its diminutive gadget.

According to All Things D, the Apple TV will receive an update that will allow an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to playback any music or video purchased from Apple on any Apple TV using Airplay, all without the need to log into an iTunes account on the streaming box itself. If true, it would allow users to stream to an Apple TV directly from Apple's servers by selecting the media on an iPhone. The rumored feature bears a strong resemblance to Google's Chromecast dongle, which primarily streams content directly from the cloud instead of from a device.

On top of all this, 9to5Mac says that Apple is working on motion control for Apple TV, though the site didn't specify how this would work or when such a feature would be unveiled. The company has also been rumored to be working on a new Apple TV service that would allow users to watch TV shows while skipping ads. Such a service could pit Apple against Google, Sony, and Intel, who are each reportedly negotiating with TV networks to launch their own respective streaming video services.