Apple’s TV box has, over the past few years, transformed itself from novelty side-project to amazingly useful living room essential. A new software update has just rolled out to show the diminutive puck some new tricks, but is it the death knell for the oft-rumoured Apple TV set?

The update brings a raft of new features, but there are a few headline additions. Firstly, the box now has support for shared Photo Streams, making picture sharing a more communal affair.

Is this the Apple TV set?

Then there’s AirPlay, which lets you fling your music to nearby AirPlay-enabled speakers. This is top news, as it strengthens the argument for Apple TV as a genuine media hub. Lastly, Apple’s brought in support for saving and switching between multiple iTunes accounts, which will be music to the ears of anyone in a house share or multiple iPod owning household.

All very nice, but the big question is: what’s happened to the Apple-branded HD TV set? The endless, incessant rumours have seemed to have all come to nought, and now they’ve all quietened down. There’s two possibilities here.

The first is that Apple did think about making such a set, but has decided against it. The second is that the company has indeed ‘doubled down on security’ as CEO Tim Cook mentioned, and that the Apple TV set is coming soon. Maybe even with the rumoured iPad Mini as a remote?

Either way, the continuing growth of the Apple TV box is a strong sign that it’s here to stay.

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