It's hard to think what innovations Apple can truly bring to the TV industry when it does finally release Apple iTV. Samsung is currently leading the Smart TV charge with a multitude of app offerings ready and waiting to tap into your house's Wi-Fi network – so Apple can't use the same tact it did with the iPhone to win over fans.
It could bring its design prowess, but companies such as Loewe and B&O have brought the similar aesthetic flourishes to televisions that Apple is famed for – and there's only so much you can do with a rectangular box.
It could also move to bring streaming and real TV closer together but most set tops do this now and soon even games consoles such as the Xbox One will be battling with the likes of Chromecast to control your television habits.
This means that for Apple to truly change the TV channel, it will have to be clever about the features it will offer.
Its recent purchase of Matcha certainly proves that it is intelligently thinking about what people need from a smarter than average telly – the service offers a recommendation algorithm that is on a par with what Netflix currently offers.
This got TechRadar thinking: what other apps are out there that Apple could buy up and utilise for its stab at a goggle box – the services that will truly offer something different to its rivals. Here's our list, and don't forget to add your own in the comments below.
Headed up by the king of on-demand Anthony Rose, Zeebox is something special. It's an app that socialises your television viewing – rounding up Twitter and Facebook reaction to the latest shows, offering tidbits of information and adding an extra layer to your viewing, without getting in the way of the shows themselves.
There's a reason BSkyB invested heavily into Zeebox – it points to TV's polarised present, where a lot of the action takes place on the second screen.
- Download Zeebox for Android
- Download Zeebox for iOS (opens in new tab)
Whereas Zeebox would be a pricey buy, GetGlue would be a bargain. Once the giant of TV check-ins, GetGlue's star has faded of late. But that doesn't mean there isn't decent stuff hidden within an app on the wane. In GetGlue's case it is its reams of check-in data.
Knowledge is power and Apple could do a lot worse than snap up data on what people are watching and when. With 4 million users still supplying the service with their viewing habits, Apple could leverage GetGlue's tech to become its very own Nielson ratings rival.
- Download GetGlue for Android
- Download GetGlue for iOS (opens in new tab)
Yes it's a stupid name but that never stopped the likes of Art Garfunkel and P. Diddy from being successful. Viggle is on a big push to fix network television. Where on-demand content is currently the sexier alternative to broadcast TV, it offers rewards if you watch television live.
It uses a smidgen of bribery to make sure you regularly tune into channels rather than graze on streams or recorded shows. Television is badly in need of a loyalty card system and this is exactly what Viggle offers.
- Download Viggle for Android
- Download Viggle for iOS (opens in new tab)
Just like its namesake, Miso is an app that wants to feed your hunger. But, in Miso's case, that hunger is for television. While it began as a plain-old check-in app, it has transformed itself into a content provider. This is thanks to a deal with DirectTV which means that you get extra content through the app - called Sideshows - when you watch particular shows.
Essentially it its the DVD extra of the app world which is no bad thing. If Apple did want to dip into its pockets, though, they may baulk at the idea of purchasing something that has Google's fingerprints all over it – the search giant invested a chunk of change into Miso back in 2011.