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Apple TV reportedly getting software upgrade to compete with Google Chromecast

Apple made no mention of its Apple TV set-top box during Tuesday's iPhone press event, but that doesn't mean the device isn't getting a refresh.

According to AllThingsD, the Cupertino-based company is planning an Apple TV overhaul on 18 September — the same day the next-generation iOS 7 mobile software is released.

The internal upgrade will focus mainly on Apple's AirPlay system, which allows owners to wirelessly stream downloaded content from their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to their HDTV.

But as ATD tells it, this is more than a simple software update. Apple is reportedly planning to allow more flexibility for users to share downloaded shows, movies, and music via the cloud to any Apple TV.

Basically, it seems that iDevice owners will be able to stream content from the cloud to the Apple TV, rather than having to download it onto their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reported tweak puts Apple TV in more direct competition with Google's new Chromecast dongle, which provides portable streaming options.

Apple has not yet addressed the set-top-box rumours, but instead focused this week on revealing its long-awaited next-generation smartphones — the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

The former comes in silver, gold, and 'space grey', and will be available in 16, 32, and 64GB flavours for £549, £629, and £709, respectively.

The colourful 5C option will hit shelves the same day; consumers can pick up the 16GB version for £470 or the 32GB for £549, in a variety of shades, including green, yellow, blue, white, and pink.