The new Apple TV basically runs the same operating system as the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple’s locked it down though, so that the Apple TV only really ones one app most of the time. It’s called Lowtide and it’s the media player and user interface for the Apple TV. But there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be able to run third party apps on the Apple TV — assuming you can figure out how to install them.
And now it looks like hackers are one step closer to doing just that. The folks at the iPhone Dev Team have managed to jailbreak the Apple TV and gain root access to the file system.
It shouldn’t be too long before we start to see third party apps that can run on jailbroken Apple TV devices. Since the Apple TV is essentially a screenless box that’s meant to be plugged into a TV and operated with a remote, odds are that many iOS apps won’t run properly on the Apple TV since they rely on touchscreen input to function. But I’m sure folks will figure out how to write apps specifically for the Apple TV soon enough. Perhaps a web browser, games, music apps, or even a complete media center replacement such as XBMC or Plex?
You can check out a video of a jailbroken iOS app in action after the break.