Lowtide is an application that Apple TV runs on, which is basically an updated version of Front Row. Meanwhile, other devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch line use an interface called Springboard. Still, this explains why though both the new Apple TV and the touchscreen devices are all running on iOS, they look very different.
As developers dig around to find new features in iOS4.2, they are finding all sorts of new features. Website TUAW has found a very interesting piece of information that shows that the iPad may actually be getting Lowtide. This would essentially make it possible to use your iPad as an Apple TV as well as do all the other things Apple TV can do such as streaming from other sources. Now, many are speculating that because of the similarities in hardware between the touchscreen iOS devices, that it's not too far off to imagine it being included in updates for iPod Touch and iPhones. Could this be the software that replaces the regular iPad video player?