Apple’s new tvOS 17 has been released. Here are many of the new features included.
It’s a well-documented fact that tvOS doesn’t receive the same robust annual updates as iOS and macOS, but this year changed that. With tvOS 17, Apple has overhauled key parts of Apple TV’s operating system, adding a wide range of new features to the set-top box.
FaceTime, continuous camera, reactions
With the arrival of tvOS 17, users running a 2nd generation Apple TV 4K or later updated to tvOS 17 will be able to use FaceTime. This is done through Continuity Camera, which allows the user to use his iPhone or iPad as a dedicated girlfriend webcam for his Apple TV.
With this update, Apple introduces full Continuity Camera API support to Apple TV, enabling video integration into apps. Popular video conferencing platforms Cisco WebEx and Zoom have promised to arrive on set-top boxes by the end of the year.
Apple TV has a new feature called Reactions. These are video effects that can be activated by hand gestures. Apple hasn’t released a full list of supported gestures, but the thumbs-up alone caused a thumb bubble. Plus, when I pressed my thumb twice, full-screen fireworks appeared behind me.
Control Center also received important updates. In the upper right corner of the home screen is a constant display that shows various system information. This display shows the current time, which AirPods are connected, whether music is playing, and which profile is currently active. To open it, simply press and hold the TV button.
Available controls include a power button, Wi-Fi access, Do Not Disturb mode to mute notifications, Spotlight search, and AirPlay output options.
There are new options for managing game controllers, accessibility settings, and restrictions. A new sleep mode lets you turn off your TV after 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours.
apple fitness plus
Apple Fitness Plus also has some notable changes in tvOS 17.
Users can now choose between prioritizing the trainer’s motivational instructions or background music during training. This feature is called Audio Focus and can be accessed from the audio menu within the video. Users can choose their preferred focus to enhance their training sessions.
Additionally, this update introduces stacks, which are groups of workouts that can be completed in succession without interruption. This eliminates the need to search for and start a new workout session after completing a workout session.
Other changes to tvOS 17
Apple TV users now have the option to add a VPN directly to their devices. Third-party apps allow you to mask data on your Apple TV to improve your privacy and security. Additionally, a VPN can help you adjust your Apple TV’s “location” and help you avoid location-based power outages at sporting events.
If you frequently misplace your remote, you now have the option to find it using your iPhone. Access the Remote app from Control Center in iOS 17 to track your lost remote if it’s nearby. You can’t activate the audio, but the Bluetooth signal can help you get closer to it.