Tuesday, June 6, 2023

tvOS 17 Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors):

With tvOS 17, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K, so users — for the first time ever — can enjoy the popular app on their TV for even more engaging conversations with family and friends. tvOS 17 also introduces an all-new Control Center, along with other enhancements that provide a more personalized experience that works even better with iPhone.


Center Stage keeps everyone in the room perfectly framed on the screen, even as they move around, while new gesture-based reactions allow callers to use their hands to generate onscreen effects, such as hearts or fireworks, and add even more fun to the conversation. The introduction of Split View for Apple TV lets users enjoy watching shows or movies with their loved ones during a SharePlay session while also seeing everyone on the FaceTime call.


Later this year, video conferencing apps like Webex by Cisco and Zoom will launch on tvOS, bringing their communications capabilities to Apple TV 4K.


In addition, when using the remote on iPhone to wake up and control Apple TV, users will be automatically switched to their profile, ensuring they have access to their recently watched shows and personalized recommendations.

Update (2023-07-26): Chris Welch:

But the more you explore the Apple TV’s latest software release, the clearer it becomes that this is one of the more significant updates Apple’s streaming box has received in many years. It introduces FaceTime on the big screen. Control Center is so much better than before. And there are several new features that demonstrate the unmatched cohesion of Apple’s ecosystem across platforms.


If you’re neck deep in the Apple ecosystem and are one of those people using second-generation HomePods as the speakers for your Apple TV 4K, the speech in the shows and movies you watch will be getting much clearer with tvOS 17. An optional “Enhance Dialogue” setting will better separate what’s being said from all the other action happening and bring it even more forward in the center channel mix.

Update (2023-07-27): Joe Rosensteel:

There’s a lot of good stuff in tvOS 17, but I don’t really agree with this piece on how the TV part of the TV (homescreen vs TV app. Content discovery. Personalization.) is acceptable. That we’ve reached a point where the best we can do is add one more column of icons to the homescreen, and leave the TV app for the Apple TV+ marketing department.

I wrote this up last week, and made this fun gif, but just letting you know that it took 23 swipes to get past recommended Apple TV+ programming in “Watch Now” but this week is a new week and it’s 27 swipes, 5 of which are MLS games, 2 of which include Messi. Great for him. I have no way to opt out or personalize any of it beyond hiding sports scores.


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