Apple Weekly News Roundup: Apple TV launch date announced, iOS 9.1 released and more

The fourth generation Apple TV will go on sale on Monday October 26.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) last week released updates for iOS, OSX and WatchOS. The iOS 9.1 update, which became available on Wednesday, mostly deals with bugs and stability issues, but also includes over 150 new emoji characters with full support for Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 emojis. New emojis include a unicorn, a burrito, a middle finger and what looks to be a guy levitating. OSX 10.11.1 and WatchOS 2.0.1 add the new emojis as well, and also include performance improvements and bug fixes.

During an interview on WSDJ Live last Monday, Tim Cook announced that the 4th generation Apple TV will become available for purchase on Monday, Oct. 26, and will start shipping by the end of the week. The 32GB model will go for $149 while the 64GB will cost $199.

Ahead of the launch, Apple seeded the golden master of tvOS to developers on Wednesday. Also just in time, Apple added the CBS and NBC networks to its lineup last week. The fashion focused M2M channel joined as well.

In a press release on Thursday Apple announced that 100% of its operations in China are powered by clean, renewable energy. On top of that, the company announced several major solar projects around China that will begin to offset the energy consumed by Apple's supply chain partners.

Unfortunately this good news was countered by a pair of negative items. After discovering that Chinese ad platform Youmi has been downloading personal information via apps that use its SDK, Apple pulled 256 offending apps from the App Store last week. On Thursday, China Labor Watch issued a report detailing a plethora of unsafe working conditions and low wages at Pegatron, one of Apple's biggest manufacturing partners.

Although we are unlikely to see something like this in production any time soon, an Apple patent for an "active screen protection for electronic device" turned up last week. The system would detect when the iPhone was falling and extend a physical shock absorber in front of the screen in time to protect it from impact.