Blink and you might have missed last Friday’s Apple TV 2.0.1 update. Because the Apple TV lacks a Software Update feature like the one found in OS X, you’d only know that an update was available by navigating to Settings: General: Update Software and giving the update option a try.
Given the general “bug-fixiness” feel of the update, it’s not too surprising that Apple isn’t trumpeting its glories. The update does, however, bring a few new features to Apple TV. They include:
New Genres entry After updating your Apple TV, you’ll discover a new Genres entry when you travel to the Apple TV’s My Movies screen. Choose Genres and press the Play/Pause button and you’ll find a list of genres assigned to the movies filed under My Movies. These genres include not only the default genres available from iTunes, but any genres you’ve added.
For example, if you’ve ripped a copy of The 40 Year Old Virgin and, in its Info screen within iTunes, entered Really Funny in the Genre field, after next syncing the Apple TV with your computer, a Really Funny entry will appear in this Genre screen.
Sync podcasts to iTunes As before, you can download podcasts directly from the iTunes Store to the Apple TV. Unlike before, when the Apple TV is next synced with iTunes, those downloaded podcasts will be copied to your computer, where they’ll appear in iTunes’ Podcasts area. A Subscribe button appears next to the podcast’s name within iTunes.
Note that once an episode has been synced to the host computer, you no
longer have the option to delete it from the Apple TV. (Presumably because
the episode is no longer on the Apple TV but rather in your iTunes library.)
Plus for Progress Want to see how far along you are in your movie/TV show/podcast? Just press the Apple Remote’s Plus button. When you do, the blue Progress Bar appears.
Skip when shuffling In the Options tab of a track’s Info window in iTunes, there’s a Skip When Shuffling option. This is useful when you don’t want your Apple TV to play a short sound effects file or risque Frank Zappa track when the kids are listening. The Apple TV now takes this option as its guide and skips tracks for which you’ve enabled this option.
[Updated at 3:17PM PDT to remove incorrect information about the ability to delete podcasts from the Apple TV being new.]