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Apple to reinvent Apple TV with built-in speaker and camera (report)

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(Image credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Apple may be reinventing the Apple TV. But instead of going head to head with the likes of Roku and Fire TV, the new Apple TV may be a streaming device, speaker and video calling hub in a single device. 

This is according to a new Bloomberg report, which details what Apple has planned for its next gadget. This new Apple TV could help Apple revive its sluggish smart home efforts and be among the best streaming devices yet. 

The new set-top box is designed to offer everything you can already do on an Apple TV and a HomePod speaker, all wrapped up in a single device. That means you can watch videos, games, listen to music, and use the Siri virtual assistant.

What’s more, the new Apple TV may feature a built-in camera which can be used for video calls through your TV. It sounds like it’s similar to Facebook’s Portal TV, which turns your living room TV into a Portal smart display. The difference is that it would also have full access to Apple TV, and the apps within. 

Interestingly, Bloomberg claims this isn’t the only thing Apple has planned for the smart home. The company is also mulling over the prospect of releasing Apple smart display that would directly compete with Google’s Nest Hub 2 and the Amazon Echo Show 10.

Bloomberg claims that the device would “combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat”. The report also notes that the device would include a “high-end speaker," which suggests Apple will be trying to stand out by offering a premium audio experience.

It’s interesting to hear where these devices may go. The Apple TV box hasn’t had an upgrade for three years, and it’s rumored that Apple TV 2021 could appear as soon as this month.

We’ve heard very little about the Apple TV 2021, but we do expect an upgraded remote, a more powerful new processor and more storage. We doubt that this ambitious hybrid is on the way soon, but it's possible that Apple could add a ultra-premium tier to its lineup for this device. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.