Apple TV Dev Tidbits: First Emulator Available, Old Remotes Work With New TV, Siri Remote Limited for Gaming

As developers get their hands on Apple TV, they’ve started experimenting with its new operating system tvOS, testing new kinds of apps and finding tidbits that haven’t been discovered yet. Developer James Addyman, for instance, has created an emulator for the new Apple TV called Provenance.

provenanceappletvemulator

Image via James Addyman

Provenance is an iOS front end that allows support for multiple emulators. Currently, it supports emulators for Sega’s Genesis, Master System, Mega CD and Game Gear and Nintendo’s NES, SNES, Gameboy and Gameboy Advance.


While Provenance is still being developed and it’s unlikely the app will make it into the Apple TV’s App Store, other developers can test Provenance as Addyman continues work on it. Addyman says certain issues still need to be corrected, including determining when the Apple TV will erase its local content and how to properly map old Sega and Nintendo gamepad functions to the Siri Remote. Addyman began developing Provenance last week within the tvOS simulator.

Mirroring Addyman’s concerns about mapping old Nintendo and Sega gamepad functions to the Siri Remote, developer Steve Troughton-Smith points out how many inputs can actually be used for playing games.


While the touchpad can be clicked, acting as a “second button”, it can’t be clicked easily while being used to control movement. This could make game development difficult, as games have to be able to be played on the Siri Remote.

Troughton-Smith has also been revealing Apple TV tidbits as he explores the dev kit. For instance, when a user picks up the new Siri Remote it senses it’s being held and automatically wakes up the screen before a button is pressed. IR is used to control a TV’s volume with the Siri Remote and your TV remote can be used to control the Apple TV.

Additionally, the existing Apple TV IR remotes also work with the new Apple TV. This includes the silver aluminum remote that ships with current Apple TVs and the original white plastic Apple TV remote. While they don’t allow you to access Siri, they do allow you to navigate around the Apple TV’s interface.

The new Apple TV will be available in October and come in two variations: a 32 GB version for $149 and a 64 GB version for $199.

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