At the WWDC 2023 keynote event, Apple unveiled a range of updates for its major platforms. Among them, tvOS 17 stood out with its array of new features, further enhancing the already impressive platform. This update introduces fresh communication options, Apple Fitness+ plans, VPN, Find My Network integration, and Dolby Vision 8.1 compatibility. Read on to explore the latest features in tvOS 17 and discover how they seamlessly integrate with other Apple products.
This new update is supported by the following devices:
- Apple TV HD (2015)
- Apple TV 4K (1st Generation, 2017)
- Apple TV 4K (2nd Generation, 2021)
- Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation, 2022)
Features of the tvOS 17 Update
The following features are the highlight of the tvOS 17 update:
1. Facetime on a Large Screen
tvOS 17 introduces the exciting addition of video conferencing on your home’s largest screen. With the integration of the FaceTime app on Apple TV devices, owners can now initiate calls directly from their devices. This means you can initiate a call on your iPhone or iPad and effortlessly transfer it to your Apple TV.
The utilization of Continuity Camera enables wireless connectivity between iPhones and iPads, relying on these handheld devices for microphone and camera functionality. As a result, all participants in the video call will be seamlessly displayed on the TV screen, enhancing the overall experience.
Furthermore, the supported devices will offer Center Stage and Split View features. Split View enables Apple TV owners to simultaneously watch TV shows and movies during SharePlay sessions. Additionally, the update allows for third-party app support, further expanding the capabilities of tvOS 17.
2. Improved Control Center
The latest iteration of the Control Center offers owners enhanced convenience by providing easy access to essential settings and configuration information on a single screen. The interface has undergone a redesign to optimize navigation, reducing the number of clicks required to navigate through its features. Controls are now conveniently grouped into categories located at the top, such as Home, AirPlay, and more.
Within the Control Center, you can access system status details, including the active profile, time, and other features. Furthermore, the panel can be expanded to accommodate additional information, such as added profiles, offering increased flexibility.
In addition to the existing toggles, the Control Center introduces new options for features like Focus Mode, Wi-Fi, Game Mode, and Sleep Timer, expanding the range of customizable settings available to Apple TV owners.
3. Locate That Missing Siri Remote
In tvOS 17, locating misplaced Siri remotes has been significantly simplified. While Siri remotes cannot be tracked directly using the Find My app, this new update introduces a solution for Apple TV owners to locate their Siri Remote with the assistance of an iPhone. As the owner gets closer to the remote, an onscreen circle expands, providing visual guidance for movement.
To locate the remote, you can effortlessly access the Apple TV Remote Control within the Control Center of your iPhone or iPad. This feature is compatible with the second-generation Siri Remote and subsequent versions.
4. New Screen Saver Options to Personalize Your Apple TV
tvOS 17 introduces an improved Screen Saver feature to Apple TV devices. This update offers Apple TV owners the ability to utilize curated memories from their personalized libraries, shared libraries, or a combination of both. Additionally, the update brings new aerial screensavers showcasing the magnificent coastal redwoods of California and the stunning Monument Valley in Arizona.
5. Apple Fitness+ Enhancements
The new tvOS 17 introduces a range of innovative features for Fitness+ subscribers. They include:
- Custom Plans: offer subscribers a personalized workout or meditation schedule based on various factors such as the day, workout type, and duration. This tailored approach ensures a customized fitness experience.
- Stacks: this empowers subscribers to select and queue multiple workouts and meditations simultaneously. This allows for seamless transitions between different exercises and meditation sessions, optimizing the Fitness+ experience.
- Audio Focus: provides subscribers with the ability to prioritize either the volume of the music or the trainer’s voice during workouts, based on their preferences. This feature enables you to find the perfect balance between motivational guidance and immersive music.
Overall, these new features in tvOS 17 enhance the Fitness+ subscription experience by providing flexibility, personalization, and control to meet individual fitness goals.
6. Third-Party Support for VoIP and VPN Apps
Apple introduced Continuity Camera APIs for Apple TV 4K, enabling developers to create apps that utilize the iPhone as a FaceTime or webcam source. This integration allows for enhanced functionalities in apps like Apple Music Sing Karaoke, which now supports Continuity Camera. You can now sing along while watching yourself on the screen, adding to the interactive experience.
In addition, prominent developers such as Cisco and Zoom are planning to launch their Apple TV apps coinciding with the release of tvOS 17 in the upcoming fall season. This expansion of developer support further enriches the app ecosystem on Apple TV, providing you with a wider range of options and functionalities.
Furthermore, tvOS introduces VPN app support, making Apple TV a more secure solution in office and conference room settings. With the ability to download VPN apps directly onto the set-top box, Apple TV owners can remove location restrictions from streaming apps, enhancing accessibility and privacy. This tvOS update ensures a consistent and secure streaming experience across devices.
7. Enhanced Dialogue
This feature enables you to enhance the clarity of dialogue in movies or TV shows on Apple TV 4K when paired with the HomePod (2nd Generation). By filtering the dialogue from the background noise, you can more clearly hear what is being said. This is true even amidst action, music, and sound effects. This speech enhancement capability addresses the common issue of dialogue being difficult to understand. It will be an invaluable addition for an improved viewing experience in the months and years to come.
8. Dolby Vision 8.1 support
This offers Apple TV 4K owners a more cinematic and real visual experience with dynamic metadata over a broader range of TV shows and movies. Check here to get additional information on the tvOS 17 update.
While tvOS updates may not be as feature-packed as major iOS or macOS versions, it is important to note that Apple is not neglecting its living room platform. With tvOS 17, Apple TV owners can now expand the capabilities of their devices with new functionalities such as video calling.
This signifies Apple’s commitment to continuously improving and diversifying the use cases for Apple TV, making it a versatile and valuable addition to the living room ecosystem. Check out Jeff Butts’ article to learn how to download tvOS 17 beta and install it on Apple TV 4K & HD.