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​Apple launches unified TV app, aims to make Apple TV your new set-top box across the small screen

Apple's focus on developers and apps for Apple TV is starting to pay off, as the company aims to be the hub of over-the-top video strategies.

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Apple's efforts to rally developers around Apple TV appears to be paying off, as the company is increasingly positioning the device as a hub that can serve as a set-top box replacement.

CEO Tim Cook said Thursday that Apple TV now has 8,000 apps including 2,000 games with Minecraft coming soon. One key app will be "TV", which serves to unify Apple devices, watching television, and an end-run around set-top boxes. The TV app will be available in the US in December across Apple TV and iOS devices.

Minecraft may be the biggest win for Apple TV since Cook noted that people could "build new worlds in Apple TV".

Apple is trying to make good on its vision that the future of TV is apps. To get there, Apple is rallying its developer base. A demo by Twitter highlighted how it can bring video and interactivity to Apple TV. Siri will also scan live television for options.

"There is a new category of apps that combine the power of Apple TV to make watching TV more interactive and social," said Cook.

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Cook said that Siri and universal search has been improved. The company is offering a "unified TV experience" via Apple TV. "One place to watch everything," said Cook.

The biggest takeaway here is that Apple is seeing its Apple TV as a hub for TV access and an end-run around cable carriers. Consider Apple TV as a central point for over-the-top video strategies. Sound familiar? Apple TV's approach rhymes with what Apple has accomplished with apps and music.

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