Reports: Apple preps new Apple TV software release for next week

While there is a new Apple TV on the way, it won't arrive next week. Instead, expect an update to the Apple TV software, according to a new report on All Things D.

Apple will be releasing a new version of iOS - iOS 7 - next week, and the Apple TV runs iOS, so this stands to reason. According to Peter Kafka, new features in the update will allow you to play your iTunes content on your friends' Apple TVs without having to sign out and sign in using your own Apple ID (instead, using AirPlay on your own device). You'll also be able to play Apple's soon to be released iTunes Radio.

9to5Mac corroborates AllThingsD's report, and adds that you'll also be able to set up an Apple TV over Bluetooth 4.0. Changes are apparently afoot to prep it for use with multiple monitor support for OS X Mavericks, which is still in pre-release; earlier this week Apple rolled out a seventh "Developer Preview" build.

It's been three years since Apple introduced the second generation Apple TV, and about a year and a half since Apple rolled out its successor - the major difference between the two is support for 1080 video on the third generation. Otherwise, Apple has kept both boxes in lock-step with each other for operating system software. Both are currently running Apple TV software 5.3 (a variant of iOS).

It remains to be seen what new hardware functions Apple could bring to a new generation Apple TV, but in the interim, it's good to see Apple continuing to support both black boxes with equanimity.