By Khurram Aziz | Dec 10, 2012 09:14 PM EST
The Apple TV could see a host of new peripherals thrown at it, with reports emerging that a Bluetooth keyboard is planned for the set-top box.
The latest beta being tested for Apple TV by registered developers right now is said to have a Bluetooth menu allowing it to be paired to devices such as a keyboard.
The functionality will come with the iOS 6.1 update to the device's operating system, according to 9to5mac.
"Until now, you've been able to pair an iOS device to an Apple TV with the Remote app to handle keyboard entry, but it appears Apple is ready to expand that," says the website. "Pairing Bluetooth speakers, a mouse and even Macs to the Apple TV doesn't work, so it appears that this is an input-only move for Apple...for now anyway."
The rumors follow an extensive interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to NBC's "Rock Center" recently, in which he outlined the importance of Apple TV to the future of the company.
"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told NBC's Brian Williams during the interview. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."
Apple TV has been around since 2007 and in March this year, the company launched the third generation of its digital streamer. The device allows you to play content from the iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Flickr, iCloud and several other internet services.
The ability to use a keyboard with the Apple TV would make navigating these features a whole lot easier, for example you could enter the name of the show you want to watch without having to laboriously navigate using the Apple TV remote.
However, Apple hasn't confirmed the new additions for Apple TV or when the software update will be rolled out.
What's more, speculation has been mounting for some time that Apple is moving away from the set-top box and is planning to launch a full television set.
Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um said in a research note provided to AppleInsider last week that he believes a full television set would be "more in tune with Apple's strategy" than an enhanced set-top box. He also said that Apple would "relish" the opportunity to place the company's logo as "the centerpiece of the living room."
"While CEO Tim Cook did not outright state it would release a television set, his indication that it was 'an area of intense interest' suggests, to us, that Apple will eventually enter this market and round out the fourth and only missing screen in its ecosystem," said Um.