Apple has an Apple TV apps engineer, if LinkedIn is to be believed. What that means exactly is unknown -- maybe they simply engineered the built-in Netflix and YouTube apps -- but as MacRumors points out:
Since Apple TV (2010) is running iOS, it's probably not a question of whether or not it can run 3rd party apps, but whether or not Apple will open it up to running them.
Again, with AirPlay coming in iOS 4.2, the idea of starting up Angry Birds on my iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, streaming the video to 50+ inch TV, and using the device as a controller is just too good not to get done.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.