The Apple TV software has been updated in a very quiet manner, but the new functionality contained in that update—AirPlay broadcasting, support multiple iTunes account, shared photo streams—is more substantial than it first seems. And the fact that you can now rearrange icons on the home screen suggest that proper support for iOS apps could finally be on the way.
I mean, sure, it's just icons on a homescreen. But why would Apple suddenly care about letting you rearrange this stuff unless they were going to open up an Apps infrastructure or deliver an avalanche of updated channels? (And honestly, the former sounds a little more feasible than the latter.) We've seen this functionality in beta builds, and now that this is official, apps support seems all the more likely. And as AirPlay support between iPhone, iPad and Apple TV has ramped up, it has gotten to the point where the Apple TV might as well allow apps. But it makes sense that they wouldn't fully roll out everything right now, since the company traditionally updates its Apple TV hardware in October, and would probably want to save a major software overhaul for that reveal.