Earlier today Apple revealed the long-awaited fourth-generation Apple TV, which includes an App Store that allows developers to create apps and games for users to download. The new Apple TV also comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of local storage. However, Apple's new App Programming Guide for tvOS, first spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, includes some interesting insights into how developers can use that storage. For instance, apps are limited to 200 MB of local storage.
Each app stored on Apple TV is limited to a maximum of 200MB. In order to create an app greater than this amount, you must break up your app into downloadable bundles. In Xcode, create tags and attach them to the required resources. When your app requests the resources associated with a tag, the operating system downloads only the required assets. You must wait until the assets are downloaded before you can use them in your app.
This means that each app is limited to a 200 MB shell that downloads the assets it needs to run whenever necessary. The new Apple TV, despite having a base of 32 GB of storage, does not have persistent local storage, which means that each time an app is in use it has to make a request to iCloud to re-download the assets it needs to run.
As noted by MacRumors' sister site TouchArcade, it's likely this decision stems from iOS 9's App Thinning, which reduces the size of apps so that users don't use as much of their local storage on their devices. Apple TV apps are universal apps, allowing developers to create one app that can work on iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Apple TV. However, because the apps are universal apps, the overall storage size of the app includes assets that aren't entirely relevant for each device. For instance, an iPhone user would have no need for the iPad or Apple TV assets for an app on their iPhone, and an Apple TV user would have no need for iPad or Apple Watch assets on their Apple TV.
Additionally, as noted by Troughton-Smith, Apple has revealed in its programming guide that the new Apple TV has 2 GB of RAM. Normally, Apple declines to publicly reveal how much RAM its iOS-based devices include. For instance, the discovery of how much RAM is in each new iPhone model is regularly speculated about until a teardown or speed test from a third-party can determine it independently.
The new Apple TV will begin shipping in nearly 80 countries at the end of October. The new Siri Remote is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Canada and Australia. Other countries will receive a remote that replaces the Siri with a Search app. The new Apple TV is priced at $149 for the 32 GB version and $199 for the 64 GB version.
Top Rated Comments
Apple TV automatically handles the storing and priority of the data of the apps and stores them locally. But to say they are downloaded each time is incorrect. Only if for some reason another app has been given data priority and resources were deleted to make room.
Devs will just have to be efficient in their apps so that a single level (or screen, or page) doesn't regularly require large assets that will take too long to download. That's also where the 802.11AC speeds helps quite a bit.
As always with Apple though, the limitations force a bit of finesse from developers so that the overall experience isn't too hampered for the customer. No one wants another AppleTV 1 situation where you quickly run out of storage.