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Don’t Be Surprised If The Next Apple TV Player Comes With A Built-In Camera

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Apple TV 4K with remote

A new Apple TV player feels overdue, and if a recent report is to be believed, the next one might come with a built-in camera. For some, this could prove to be a useful addition. For others, however, a camera is likely to be a very unnecessary hardware addition.

With the release of tvOS 17 late last year, one of the big updates to the Apple TV experience was FaceTime support. Through the use of a connected camera-enabled device, such as an iPhone, an Apple TV player can now be used to make and take FaceTime calls with friends and family.

In reality, this alone is likely to be enough of a reason for Apple to now be considering adding a camera to the device. After all, if it sees value in users making video calls on the player, it makes sense that Apple would also see value in removing the need for an additional device. Apple often focuses on usability and having to connect another device adds an extra level of complexity.

Logic (from Apple’s perspective) of adding a camera aside, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says Apple is considering releasing an Apple TV player with a built-in camera. According to Gurman, the camera is not only designed to take advantage of FaceTime support, but also gestures as well.

A camera on a streaming player is not the best idea

There are many reasons why adding a camera to a streaming player isn’t the best idea. For one thing, there’s the privacy issue. Apple tends to promote itself as a privacy-focused company, so one would assume safeguards will be in place to reassure users that the camera isn’t something to be feared.

Privacy aside, cameras are just not practical additions. Most streaming players tend to feature a nondescript design and that’s intentional considering most homes tend to want a device they can hide from view. Reddit is already awash with plenty of examples of how users have (sometimes creatively) mounted their Apple TV players to keep them even more out of view than usual. A camera would not only need to be in view, but have a clear view of the user as well.

While Apple could release a model with some form of a camera attachment, the suggestion here is it will be a built-in camera. If that is the case, hopefully Apple also opts to release a model without a camera as well, to satisfy all of those that don’t want one for privacy, practical or any other reason.

John Finn

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