Update connects Apple TV to iCloud

Apple has outed a firmware update to its Apple TV gadget which could see the underwhelming set-top box actually becoming a useful bit of kit.

The £101 slab of iOS-powered gadgetry will soon be able to hook up to Apple's iCloud service over a wired connection or Wi-Fi, meaning that anything you've ever purchased on iTunes will be playable on your living room TV. Or the TV in your hotel room.

Because everything will be stored on and accessed from Apple's giant data centre, there's no need to sync your media, which could see the Apple TV moving out of the living room and going on the road.

Although the update appears to be limited to TV shows at the current time, Apple's intentions for its iCloud service are more than clear and the Cupertino company has been courting Hollywood brass with the same vigour it applied to the music industry prior to the announcement of iTunes Match.

Apple TV, which was once described as a hobby by Apple front man Steve Jobs, could well be coming of age. All Apple needs to know is open up the gadget's gaming APIs and it will definitely be on to a winner.