It turns out that the new Apple TV ($99) runs the same basic iOS operating system as the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s just locked down a little tighter so that there’s no official way to install third party apps (yet?). And instead of displaying the typical iOS program launcher, AppleTV runs an app called Lowtide – basically an updated version of Apple’s FrontRow for playing and purchasing media.
So it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising that someone has figured out how to get Lowtide to run on an iPod touch running iOS 4.1. In this case, that someone is Dustin Howett, a freelance software developer.
You can check out Lowtide on the iPod touch above, but it’s pretty clear the interface was designed for a larger screen. Many of the graphic elements don’t really fit on the display. Still, this could open the door to video rentals and other features that are available on the Apple TV — although TUAW has found evidence that these features may be headed to the iPad soon anyway.