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Newest Apple Gear Comes with Hawaii Scenery
Apple released its fourth generation Apple TV this week (we received ours yesterday), after letting its set top box languish without an update for nearly three years. It comes with all the improvements Apple fans have been eagerly awaiting: faster chips and more storage space, installable apps and games, and a pretty cool remote with Siri-powered voice commands.
The new Apple TV also comes with a set of high-definition video screensavers featuring gorgeous aerial videos of locations around the world, including Hawaii.
Apple has shown a fondness for the Aloha State for a long time. Before the company made a mainstream splash with its "1984" superbowl commercial, the Macintosh had already been introduced at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Waikiki in October 1983. When Steve Jobs unveiled the first, revolutionary iPhone in 2007, he demonstrated its elegant email app by sending a photo of Hawaii. The Kapalua Resort was featured prominently in Apple's earliest iPhone TV ads. Steve Jobs was known to vacation in Hawaii (and even had to cut one short), and the company picked Honolulu as one of the first markets for its Apple Maps street imagery.
When the new Apple TV was officially announced, the included screensavers were known to only include video footage of San Francisco. But in the weeks prior to its official release, several more locations were added, including the cities of London, New York, and the Great Wall of China.
There are 34 different video screensavers in all, eight of them featuring Hawaii. Developer Benjamin Mayo was able to scrape out the code that randomly displays the different aerial clips, and there are six different "day" videos (lush valleys, waterfalls, majestic cliffs, and clouds) and two "night" videos (more clouds and a coastal sunset) for the islands.
It's hard to describe in words the visual impact of these high-definition aerial movies, in which the camera moves slowly over and along each landscape for several minutes (which means the view at the start of a video changes quite a bit by the end). The aforementioned developer has put together a page that plays each video straight from Apple's servers. It will only work until Apple moves or changes them, so be sure to check them out sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, developer John Coates has put together a screen saver for OSX that uses the same videos Apple provides for the Apple TV. Again, it will only work as long as Apple allows it, but I've already installed it on my Mac.
Here are a few screenshots from the Hawaii scenes in the new Apple TV screensaver: