TvOS

Last updated

tvOS
TvOS.svg
Apple tvOS 13 screenshot.png
The homescreen of tvOS 13.
Developer Apple Inc.
Written in C, C++, Swift, Objective-C, assembly language
OS family
Working stateCurrent
Source model Closed, with open-source components
Initial releaseSeptember 1, 2010;9 years ago (2010-09-01)
Latest release 13.4.6 [1] (17L570) [2] (June 1, 2020;40 days ago (2020-06-01)) [±]
Latest preview 14.0 beta 2 [3] (18J5331g) [4] (July 7, 2020;4 days ago (2020-07-07)) [±]
13.4.8 beta 4 (GM) [5] (17M61) [6] (July 9, 2020;2 days ago (2020-07-09)) [±]
Marketing targetTelevision, casual gaming
Available in 71 languages
Update method Firmware-over-the-air
Platforms
  • ARMv8-A (tvOS 9 and later)
  • ARMv7-A (Apple TV Software 4 – Apple TV Software 7)
Kernel type Hybrid (XNU)
Default user interface 10-foot user interface
License Commercial proprietary software
Official website developer.apple.com/tvos
Support status
Supported

tvOS (formerly Apple TV Software) is an operating system developed by Apple Inc. for the 2nd generation and later Apple TV digital media player. It is based on the iOS operating system and has many similar frameworks, technologies, and concepts.

Contents

The Apple TV Software for the 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV has several built-in applications, but does not support third-party applications.

The 4th generation Apple TV, with support for third-party software via an App Store, was rumored prior to the Apple September 2015 event held on September 9, 2015. [7] [8]

On September 9, 2015 at the Apple September 2015 event, Apple announced the 4th generation Apple TV, with support for third-party applications; Apple changed the name of the operating system to "tvOS", adopting the camelcase nomenclature that they were using for their other operating systems, iOS and watchOS. [9]

History

On October 30, 2015, the 4th generation Apple TV became available, and shipped with tvOS 9.0. On November 9, 2015, tvOS 9.0.1 was released, primarily an update to address minor issues.

tvOS 9.1 was released on December 8, 2015 along with OS X 10.11.2, iOS 9.2, and watchOS 2.1. [10] Along with these updates, Apple also updated the Remote apps on iOS and watchOS, allowing for basic remote functionality for the 4th generation Apple TV (previously, said app only worked with past versions of Apple TV). [11]

On November 25, 2015, Facebook debuted their SDK for tvOS, allowing applications to log into Facebook, share to Facebook, and use Facebook Analytics in the same way that iOS applications can. [12]

On December 2, 2015, Twitter debuted their login authentication service for tvOS – "Digits" – allowing users to log into apps and services with a simple, unique code available online. [13]

On March 11, 2016, The Pangu Team announced on Twitter that they would be creating a new jailbreak tool for the Apple TV 4 running tvOS 9.0–9.0.1 and that it would be released the following week. [14]

On June 13, 2016, at WWDC 2016, Apple SVP of Internet Services Eddy Cue announced the next major version of tvOS, tvOS 10. tvOS 10 brings new functionality such as Siri search enhancements, single sign on for cable subscriptions, a dark mode, and a new Remote application for controlling the Apple TV.

On April 13, 2020, It was discovered that Apple's Siri Smart Speaker HomePod began to run variants of the tvOS software.[ citation needed ]

Features

tvOS 9 shipped with several new features on the fourth generation Apple TV. One of the major features was the ability to move through the interface with the new touchpad remote using multi-touch gestures. It introduced a new App Store in which users can download and install new applications (such as apps and games) made available from developers that develop applications for the Apple TV and tvOS. tvOS 9 adds support for Siri, which lets users do a multitude of things such as a cross-application search for a movie/TV show, rewind, fast forward, name and actor/director of the current movie, and skip back 15 seconds. tvOS added support for an application switcher on the Apple TV, more application customization options, cinematic screensavers, and control the TV using the included Siri Remote with the built-in support for HDMI-CEC in tvOS. In addition, tvOS allows the user to control the Apple TV in many different ways. These include using the included Siri Remote, pairing a third-party universal remote, pairing an MFi Gamepad to control games, using the Remote app on iOS, and pairing a Bluetooth keyboard to aid in the typing experience of the user.

Accessibility

tvOS was designed based on iOS, as such tvOS inherited many of the accessibility features of iOS and macOS.

tvOS includes the Apple technologies of VoiceOver, Zoom, and Siri to help the blind and those with impaired vision. VoiceOver, Apple's screen reader, is available in more than 30 languages and enables visually impaired users to know what is on the visual display and input responses to on-screen prompts. VoiceOver uses gestures similar to other Apple products (flicks, taps, and the rotor).

Like other Apple products such as the iPhone with a three click sequence to the home button to activate accessibility features, with Apple TV's tvOS, a user can activate VoiceOver without any installation process. One needs only to triple-click the Menu button on the Siri Remote and the Apple TV will guide the user through the complete initial setup, a task that is non-trivial to the visually impaired in most comparable products on the market.

Another accessibility feature is to increase contrast on the screen which acts by reducing the transparency of background elements on Movie and TV Show pages, menu tabs, and other parts of the operating system. High-contrast can also be turned on, with a cursor to better delineate the focused content. The user can also opt to turn on Reduce Motion which in some screen actions, such as moving between app icons on the Home screen and launching apps are visually simpler which is of benefit to reduce strain on the eyes.

tvOS enables users to watch movies with audio descriptions of what is being shown on the screen. Movies with audio descriptions are displayed with the AD (Audio Description) icon in the iTunes Store for tvOS and in iTunes on a Macintosh or Windows PC.

Pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with the tvOS on the Apple TV enables another accessibility feature that also is an incorporation of VoiceOver. When typing, VoiceOver mirrors with an audio voice, each character pressed on the keyboard and repeated again when it is entered. The Apple TV is designed to work with the Apple Wireless Keyboard or the Apple Magic Keyboard. It will work however with almost any brand of Bluetooth keyboard.

Apple TV with and without tvOS supports closed captioning, so the deaf or hard of hearing can experience TV episodes and feature-length movies. Compatible episodes and movies are denoted with a CC (closed captioning) or SDH (subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing) icon in the iTunes Store either on the Apple TV or in iTunes itself. The viewer can customize the captions in episodes or movies with styles and fonts that are more conducive to their hearing and/or visual impairment.

The Touch surface on the Siri Remote is customizable. Tracking when set to Fast adjusts the thumb movements made to amplify the distance in relation to how far the thumb has moved on the glass touchpad. Conversely when tracking is set to slow, larger movements of the thumb on the touchpad will tune down the distance that is traversed on the screen. This can help people with disabilities.

Apple's Remote app on iOS devices allows control of the Apple TV from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The iOS remote app increases the accessibility of the Apple TV by enabling Switch Control. Switch Control is a unique Apple technology that enables navigation sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions such as selecting, tapping, dragging, typing using third party Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware made for those with handicaps.

Development

tvOS 9 ships with all-new development tools for developers. tvOS adds support for an all-new SDK for developers to build apps for the TV including all of the APIs included in iOS 9 such as Metal. It also adds the tvOS App Store which allows users to browse, download, and install a wide variety of applications. In addition, developers can now use their own interface inside of their application rather than only being able to use Apple's interface. Since tvOS is based on iOS, it is easy to port existing iOS apps to the Apple TV with Xcode while making only a few refinements to the app to better suit the larger screen. Apple provides Xcode free of charge to all registered Apple developers. To develop for the new Apple TV, it is necessary to make a parallax image for the application icon. In order to do this, Apple provides a Parallax exporter and previewer in the development tools for the Apple TV.

Version history

Legend:  Obsolete  Discontinued  Current  Beta

Information about new updates to Apple TV (2nd generation) onwards is published on Apple's knowledge base. [15]

iOS 4

iOS 4.1 was the first version of iOS available on the Apple TV (2nd generation). It included Apple TV Software 4.0. [15]

Table of versions: iOS 4.x – Apple TV (2nd generation)
iOS VersionApple TV SoftwareBuildRelease dateFeatures
4.14.08M892010-09-01
  • Initial release on Apple TV (2nd generation)
4.24.18C150 (1539)2010-11-22
4.2.14.1.18C154 (1553)2010-12-14

Bug fixes

  • Addresses an issue that causes some high-definition TVs to incorrectly display at 480p.
  • Addresses an issue that may cause a movie or TV show to be re-downloaded. [15]
4.34.28F191m (2060)2011-03-09
  • AirPlay video support for third party apps on iDevices.
  • New slideshow themes: View photos with the new Scrapbook, Photo Mobile, and Holiday Mobile slideshow themes.
  • Improved on-screen keyboard: Search and enter names and passwords more easily with the redesigned on-screen keyboard.
  • Enjoy Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound when watching Netflix.
4.2.18F202 (2100)2011-03-22

Bug fixes

  • Addresses issues that may cause the screen to flicker or display incorrect colour on some older TVs.
  • Addresses an issue where Apple TV may not wake up from sleep.
  • Addresses an issue where audio may not be heard on some TV models after switching from another input.
  • Apple TV Software 4.2.1 includes stability and performance fixes for Apple TV. [15]
4.2.28F305 (2203)2011-05-11

Bug fixes

  • Addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.
  • Addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.
  • Adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.
  • Improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.
  • Addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.
  • Addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos are not ordered by date.
4.38F455 (2557)2011-08-01
  • Ability to watch videos from Vimeo.
  • US-only feature: streams purchased TV shows from iTunes on Apple TV (and past purchases); formerly, only rentals were available.

iOS 5

On October 23, 2011, Apple TV (2nd generation) received the iOS 5.0 software, with My Photo Stream, AirPlay mirroring (from iPhone 4S & iPad 2), NHL, Wall Street Journal, slideshow themes and Netflix subtitles. [15] [16] Contrary to rumors and code found in iOS 5, the release did not bring support for Bluetooth or apps to the Apple TV (2nd generation). [17]

Table of versions: iOS 5.x – Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generations)
iOS Version Apple TV Software BuildRelease dateFeatures
5.04.49A334v (3140) [18] 2011-10-12
  • Coincides with iOS 5 for portable iOS devices.
  • Photo Stream.
  • AirPlay mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. [19]
  • Wall Street Journal.
  • New Slideshow themes.
  • Netflix subtitles.

Upgrading from this version resets the device to factory settings as part of the upgrade process. [20]

4.4.19A335a (3150)2011-10-17

Bug fixes

  • Upgrading from this version resets the device to factory settings as part of the upgrade process. [20]
4.4.2 [21] 9A336a (3160) [22] 2011-10-24
  • Audio playback: addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.
  • Video playback: addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.
  • Audio output setting: adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.
  • Live FF/RW improvements: improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.
  • Movie description: addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.
  • YouTube video order: addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos were not ordered by date.
5.0.14.4.39A405l (3323)2011-11-17
  • Added support for Netflix in Mexico.
  • Addresses an issue in which audio may not play through the optical port when the TV is turned off.
4.4.49A406a (3330)2011-12-15
  • General performance and stability improvements, including a fix for an issue that displayed an error when playing some video content.
5.15.09B179b (4099)2012-03-07
  • Initial release on Apple TV (3rd generation).
  • Support for 1080p video resolution. A3
  • Completely redesigned menus.
    • Content categories now resemble iOS app icons.
    • Third-party apps (Netflix, YouTube, NBA, Flickr, etc.) have their own icon.
  • Ability to create a Netflix account.
5.1.15.0.19B206f (4224)2012-05-10
  • Previews for movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store can now be viewed in HD.
  • Fixes an issue that caused some iOS apps to have trouble connecting via AirPlay.
  • Improves the reliability of Home Sharing connections.
  • Addresses an issue affecting Netflix login and navigation.
  • Includes fixes for issues affecting stability and performance.
5.0.29B830 (4250)2012-06-05
  • Addresses an issue which caused content restrictions to be incorrectly applied for the iTunes Store in Australia.

iOS 6

On September 24, 2012, Apple TV (2nd generation) onwards received the iOS 6.0 software update, with Shared Photo Streams, iTunes account switching, better AirPlay functionality, and Trailers searching, among other smaller improvements.

Table of versions: iOS 6.x – Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generations)
iOS Version Apple TV Software BuildRelease dateFeatures
6.05.110A406E (5201)2012-09-24
  • Shared Photo Streams: Accept invitations for Shared Photo Streams, browse photos and comments, and receive notifications of new content.
  • AirPlay: Send audio content from Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers/devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs). Also includes the ability to require an onscreen code to use AirPlay with Apple TV.
  • iTunes account switching: Save multiple iTunes accounts and switch quickly between them.
  • Trailers: Search for movie trailers. In the United States, see show times for local theaters.
  • Screen savers: New Cascade, Shrinking Tiles, and Sliding Panels screen savers.
  • Main menu: Reorder icons on the second page by holding down the select button on the remote.
  • Subtitles: SDH support for the hearing-impaired; improvements to viewing and selecting subtitles.
  • Network configuration: Support for setting up advanced network options using configuration profiles.
  • Stability and performance: Includes general performance and stability improvements.
6.0.15.1.110A831 (5433)2012-11-29
  • Adds support for Up Next with iTunes 11 or iTunes Match.
  • Includes performance and stability improvements with the iTunes Store, AirPlay, Netflix, iTunes Match, and wired ethernet connections.
6.15.210B144b (6010.96) [23] 2013-01-28
  • Initial release on Apple TV (3rd generation Revision A).
  • Bluetooth keyboards: Adds support for some Bluetooth keyboards (including Apple Wireless Keyboard). [24]
  • iTunes in the Cloud: Browse and play purchased iTunes music directly from iCloud.
  • Airplay: Send stereo audio from video content on Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers/devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs).
  • Stability and performance: Includes general performance and stability improvements.
6.1.35.2.110B329a (6025)2013-03-19
  • Hulu Plus app: Completely redesigned, adds support for closed-captioning. [25]
  • iTunes in the Cloud: Adds support for Music in the Cloud in Japan and Israel. [15]
  • Stability and performance: Including improvements for software update, subtitles, and general performance. [15]
  • Security Fixes. [26]
6.1.45.310B809 (6105)2013-06-19
  • Third-party content: Adds support for Crunchyroll, ESPN, HBO GO, Qello, and Sky News (some sources depend on country).
  • iTunes Store: Improves reliability of signing into the iTunes Store and playing purchased content.

Further channels added on August 27, 2013, without a software update: Vevo, Weather Channel, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Smithsonian Channel [27] [28] [29] (some sources depend on country) [30]

iOS 7

On September 20, 2013, Apple TV (second generation) onwards received the iOS 7.0 software update, with iTunes Radio and AirPlay from iCloud.

Table of versions: iOS 7.x – Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generations)
iOS version Apple TV Software BuildRelease dateFeatures
7.0.1 / 7.0.26.011A470e/11A5022013-09-23
  • iTunes Radio
    • Create user radio stations and listen to them ad-free with iTunes Match (US and Australia only).
  • iTunes Store
    • Browse, purchase, and play music directly from the iTunes Store.
  • iCloud Photos
    • Adds support to play video from a shared Photo Stream and view Photo Streams from multiple contributors.
  • AirPlay from iCloud
    • Apple TV will play content from iTunes In The Cloud instead of user AirPlay device when possible (needs iOS 7 on AirPlay device).
  • Podcasts
    • Sync user podcasts and podcast stations across Apple TV and all user iOS devices.
  • iMovie Theater
    • Stream user iMovie creations instantly in high definition from iCloud (needs latest version of iMovie for iOS or Mac and an iCloud account).
  • Subtitles & Captioning
    • Automatic subtitle selection based on Apple TV language setting, with customizable closed caption style.
  • Conference Room Display
    • Lock Apple TV into Conference Room Display (for business and education environments) and show onscreen instructions for using AirPlay.
  • Software update
    • Keep Apple TV always updated by automatically installing software updates when available.
  • Setup
    • Use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 7 to automatically transfer network settings, user Apple ID, and language preferences to Apple TV (3rd generation) (not available on iPhone 4 or iPad 2).

Third-party US-only content added on September 26, 2013, without a software update: Major League Soccer (MLS) and Disney Junior. [31] [32]

iMovie Theater app was added on October 22, 2013, without a software update. [33]

7.0.36.0.111B511d2013-10-25
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements. [15]
7.0.4 / 7.0.66.0.211B554a/11B6512013-11-14
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements. [15]
  • Security (11B651 build only)
    • Provides a fix for SSL connection verification.
7.16.111D169bMarch 10, 2014;6 years ago
  • Main menu
    • Includes ability to make hiding channels easier [15]
  • AirPlay
    • Security option for iOS devices or Macs to require verifying via a one-time, onscreen code before using AirPlay (needs iOS 7.1 or later on an iOS device, or OS X 10.9.2 or later on a Mac). [15]
    • Adds support to allow an AirPlay device to discover Apple TV over Bluetooth in environments where multicast or Bonjour traffic is blocked on the network or the AirPlay device is on a different subnet. [15]
  • Remote app
    • View purchased TV Shows and Movies in the Remote app and tap to play them instantly on Apple TV. [15]
    • Create and play iTunes Radio stations (needs Remote app version 4.2 or later). [15]
  • Stability and performance
    • Bug fixes, general performance and stability improvements. [15]
7.1.16.1.111D201cApril 22, 2014;6 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements. [15]
7.1.26.211D257cJune 30, 2014;6 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements. [15]
  • iTunes Extras
    • Added ability to explore deleted scenes, photos, cast and crew, and more with select iTunes movie purchases. (Only available for HD purchases) [15]
6.2.111D258September 17, 2014;5 years ago

Final release on Apple TV (2nd generation)

As of May 2015, the YouTube app only works on newer Apple TVs that have software 7.2 or later due to an API change implemented by Google.

  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements. [15]

iOS 8

On September 18, 2014, the third generation Apple TV received the iOS 8.0 software update, with a redesigned UI, Family Sharing and peer-to-peer AirPlay.

Table of versions: iOS 8.x – Apple TV (3rd generation)
iOS Version Apple TV Software BuildRelease dateFeatures
8.07.012A365bSeptember 17, 2014;5 years ago
  • UI
    • Redesigned UI that adopts a similar look to the "flat" look that is presented in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
    • UI redesign includes redesigned icons and borders, menus, and many of the controls inside many of the apps that are included with the Apple TV.
  • Family Sharing
    • Adds support for a service of sharing purchases from iTunes between up to 6 people.
    • Supports iTunes music, video, podcasts, and TV show purchases.
    • All group members must pay for family purchases with the same credit/debit card.
    • Ask To Buy – parents can approve a child's spending from the parent's device.
  • Descriptive Video Services
    • Hear descriptive video with a new accessibility feature support select iTunes movies and TV shows.
  • Peer-to-peer AirPlay
    • Guests can AirPlay from their Mac or iOS device directly to an Apple TV without connecting to a wireless network (needs ATV 3 Rev-A (A1469), iPhone 4S and later; iPad 2 and later; and iPod Touch (5th generation) running iOS 8 or a Mac running OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later). A3R
  • Beats Music
    • Beats Music has now been shut down in favor of Apple Music, which requires an Apple TV 4 running tvOS 9.0 or later.
8.17.0.112B410aOctober 20, 2014;5 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.
8.1.17.0.212B440November 17, 2014;5 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.
8.1.37.0.312B466January 27, 2015;5 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.
8.27.112D508March 9, 2015;5 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.
8.37.212F69April 8, 2015;5 years ago

As of May 2015, the YouTube app only works on Apple TVs that have software 7.2 or later due to an API change implemented by Google.

  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes
Post-Apple TV (4th generation) updates
8.47.2.112H523February 25, 2016;4 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes
8.4.17.2.212H606December 12, 2016;3 years ago
  • Stability and performance
    • Includes general performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes

Amazon Video was automatically added to Apple TVs running 7.2.2 on December 6, 2017. [34]

8.4.2[ citation needed ]7.312H847 [35] May 13, 2019;13 months agoApple TV Software 7.3 brings the updated TV app to provide support for Apple TV+ services.
7.3.112H864 [36] July 22, 2019;11 months agoBug fixes and stability improvements
8.4.3[ citation needed ]7.412H876 [37] September 24, 2019;9 months agoBug fixes and stability improvements
8.4.4[ citation needed ]7.5 [38] 12H885[ citation needed ]March 24, 2020;3 months agoAdds the ability to control the Apple TV from the control center of an iOS device, bug fixes and stability improvements.

tvOS 9

tvOS 9 is an operating system that is 95% based on iOS 9, with adaptations made for a television interface. It was announced on September 9, 2015, alongside the new iPad Pro and iPhone 6S. Tim Cook took the stage and introduced tvOS saying that it was time for the Apple TV to gain a modern OS with support for apps as they are "the future of TV". It will only be available on the Apple TV (4th generation), released in October 2015. It adds a native SDK to develop apps, and an App Store to distribute them, and support for Siri and universal search across multiple apps.

Table of versions: tvOS 9.x – Apple TV (4th generation)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures
9.09.013T396October 29, 2015;4 years ago

Initial release on Apple TV (4th generation).

  • User Interface
    • Introduces a new user interface that uses lighter colors and transparency, adds support for control via an all new remote. This remote can be used to navigate the user interface by using multi-touch gestures on the trackpad on the remote rather than physical buttons.
  • App Store/SDK
    • Adds support for an all new SDK for developers to build apps for the TV including all of the APIs included in iOS 9 such as Metal.
    • Adds an App Store which allows users to browse, download, and install a wide variety of applications from things such as games, video applications, etc.
    • Developers can now use their own interface inside of their application rather than only being able to use Apple's interface.
  • Siri
    • Adds support for Siri which can be toggled by pressing the microphone button on the remote.
    • Siri, beyond all of its iOS abilities, can take many voice commands tailored for the TV, such as a cross-application search for a movie/TV show, rewind, fast forward, name and actor/director of the current movie, and even skip back 15 seconds.
  • Experience
    • It is now possible to switch between two applications by double-clicking the trackpad on the remote and scrolling to the desired application.
    • Users can now customize the home screen by placing any applications they wish on the top row, including third-party types.
    • New cinematic screen savers display time-lapse images of scenic cities when the Apple TV is asleep.
    • It is now possible to control the volume of the TV and turn it on/off using just the new Siri Remote and the built in support for HDMI CEC in TVOS.
  • Third-Party Controllers
    • Adds support for pairing third-party Bluetooth game controllers in order to play games.
  • Apple Music
    • Adds Apple Music support for Apple TV.
9.0.19.113T402November 9, 2015;4 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements.
9.19.213U85December 8, 2015;4 years ago
  • Adds support for controlling Apple Music with Siri.
  • Adds support for controlling the Apple TV with the Remote app for iOS and Apple Watch.
  • Improvements to networking and scrolling.
9.1.19.2.113U717January 25, 2016;4 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements
  • Adds the Podcasts app to the Apple TV
9.29.313Y234March 21, 2016;4 years ago
  • Adds support for folders on the Apple TV.
    • A folder can be made by selecting an app, clicking and holding on the touchpad, clicking the Play/Pause button, and then choosing "New Folder" from the popup menu.
  • Adds the ability to pair Bluetooth keyboards with the 4th Generation Apple TV
  • Adds a redesigned application switcher similar to the one found in iOS 9 rather than the one found in iOS 8 as TVOS 9.1 contained.
  • Adds support for iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos
  • Enables developers to add maps to their applications with the use of the MapKit API.
  • Siri/Voice Dictation
    • Adds support for Voice Dictation to enable users to enter text in text fields using their voice. Voice Dictation can be invoked by selecting the text field and pressing the Siri button on the Siri Remote.
    • Adds Support for searching the App Store on the Apple TV using Siri.
    • Adds support for new Siri languages which include Spanish(United States), French(Canada), and English(United Kingdom and Australia).
  • Remote operability improvements
    • In order to rewind/fast forward the video in tvOS 9.2, it is now necessary to click the touchpad before swiping left or right. [39]
    • Updates the remote firmware which includes improved motion sensor performance and support for additional sound bar and receiver hardware. [40]
  • Enhancements to speed and performance.
9.2.19.3.213Y772May 16, 2016;4 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements.
9.2.29.3.313Y825July 18, 2016;3 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.

tvOS 10

Table of versions: tvOS 10.x – Apple TV (4th generation)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures

10.0

10.014T330September 13, 2016;3 years ago
  • User Interface
    • Adds the option for users to select between a light mode or a new dark mode. [41]
    • Adds support for app notification badge icons on the tvOS home screen.
  • Siri
    • Support for searching YouTube for content using Siri.
    • Support for searching for content by topic.
  • Photos
    • Adds support for the new Photos app available in iOS 10 which adds a new feature called Memories
  • Music
    • Update the UI of Apple Music to match the UI of Apple Music on iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.
  • Control
    • When users start typing on the Apple TV using the Siri Remote, their iPhone on iOS 10 or later gives them a lockscreen notification that allows for text entry, even without the remote app installed on the iOS device.
    • No longer requires developers to provide support for the Siri Remote in games. A game can now make a third-party MFI controller required for gameplay.
  • HomeKit
    • Allows the control of HomeKit accessories from the Apple TV.
  • Developer Tools
    • Adds many new APIs that developers can take advantage of on tvOS such as ReplayKit, SpriteKit, SceneKit, and more.

10.0.1

10.114U71
14U100
October 24, 2016;3 years ago
November 14, 2016;3 years ago (14U100)
  • General performance and stability improvements.
  • Bug fixes.

10.1

10.214U593December 12, 2016;3 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements.
  • New "TV" app
  • Added "Single Sign-On"

10.1.1

10.2.114U712aJanuary 23, 2017;3 years ago
  • General performance and stability improvements.

10.2

10.314W265March 27, 2017;3 years ago
  • Adds support for Apple File System (APFS)
  • General performance and stability improvements

10.2.1

10.3.214W585aMay 15, 2017;3 years ago

Security and Bug Fixes

10.2.2

10.3.314W756July 19, 2017;2 years ago

Security and Bug Fixes

tvOS 11

Table of versions: tvOS 11.x – Apple TV (4th and 5th generations)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures
11.011.015J381September 19, 2017;2 years ago
  • Initial release on Apple TV 4K (5th generation).
  • Control
    • Adds option to reprogram the TV button on Siri remote to open the TV app or to return to the home screen.
    • Adds support for controlling via Control Center from devices running iOS 11.
  • Experience
    • Apple AirPods automatically connect when paired with a device signed in with the same iCloud account.
    • Option for automatic switching between light and dark mode based on time of day.
    • Adds Home Screen Sync option that synchronizes apps and home screens across Apple TVs signed in with the same iCloud account.
    • Double tapping Siri remote will zoom in on pillarboxed or letterboxed video to fill frame.
    • Tapping timeline a second time will switch to a time-of-day display.
  • Developer tools
    • Increases maximum On-Demand Resource bundle size to 4 GB from 200 MB.
    • Adds support for HEVC and HEIF, hardware decoding on Apple TV 4K and software decoding on Apple TV (4th generation).
11.111.115J582October 31, 2017;2 years agoIncludes bug fixes and security improvements
11.211.215K106December 4, 2017;2 years agoThe update includes support for switching the Apple TV 4K display output to SDR for apps that are GPU-bound when running in HDR and it re-introduces the Unwatched category in Home Sharing for Movies, TV Shows, and Home Videos.
11.2.111.2.115K152December 13, 2017;2 years agoIncludes bug fixes and security improvements
11.2.511.2.515K552January 23, 2018;2 years agoIncludes bug fixes and security improvements
11.2.611.2.615K600February 19, 2018;2 years agoIncludes bug fixes and security improvements
11.311.315L211March 29, 2018;2 years agotvOS 11.3 beta provides Dolby Vision support for certain Sony 2017 4K HDR televisions with the X1 Extreme processor.
11.411.415L577May 29, 2018;2 years agoAirPlay 2
  • Listen to your favorite songs across every Apple TV, HomePod, and AirPlay 2-compatible speaker you have in your home. Or play something different in every room at the same time.
11.4.111.4.115M73July 9, 2018;2 years agoBug fixes and improvements

tvOS 12

Table of versions: tvOS 12.x – Apple TV (4th and 5th generations)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures
12.012.016J364September 17, 2018;21 months ago
  • Audio
  • Experience
    • Adds support for Zero Sign-On automatic television app authentication with supported cable providers.
    • Adds password AutoFill from iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.
    • Adds new aerial screensavers.
  • Developer tools
    • Adds support for home control systems that include Control4, Crestron, and Savant.
    • Adds support for third-party remotes including Siri support.
12.0.112.016J380September 24, 2018;21 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.112.116J602October 30, 2018;20 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.1.112.1.116K45December 5, 2018;19 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.1.212.1.316K534January 22, 2019;17 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.212.216L226March 25, 2019;15 months agoSiri and Apple TV Remote improvements
12.2.112.216L250April 10, 2019;15 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.312.316M153May 13, 2019;13 months ago
  • Adds redesigned TV app
  • GUI changes in video player
12.412.416M568July 22, 2019;11 months agoBug fixes and improvements
12.4.112.4.116M600August 26, 2019;10 months agoSecurity fixes

tvOS 13

Table of versions: tvOS 13.x – Apple TV (4th and 5th generations)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures
13.013.117J586September 24, 2019;9 months ago
13.213.217K82October 28, 2019;8 months ago
13.313.317K449December 10, 2019;7 months ago
13.3.113.3.117K795January 28, 2020;5 months ago
13.413.417L256March 24, 2020;3 months ago
13.4.513.517L562May 20, 2020;52 days ago
13.4.613.5.117L570June 1, 2020;40 days ago
13.4.8 beta 4 (GM)17M61July 9, 2020;2 days ago

tvOS 14

Table of versions: tvOS 14.x – Apple TV (4th and 5th generations)
tvOS version iOS version based onBuildRelease dateFeatures
14.0 beta 214.0 beta 218J5331gJuly 7, 2020;4 days ago
  • Experience:
    • Adds picture-in-picture to third-party apps
    • Adds Audio Sharing for simultaneously connecting two sets of AirPods on Apple TV 4K
    • Supports full-resolution AirPlay for 4K videos and photos on Apple TV 4K
    • Redesigned Control Center
    • Support for Microsoft Elite 2 and Adaptive Xbox One controllers
  • HomeKit :
    • Adds camera feeds and picture-in-picture monitoring for HomeKit-enabled security cameras [45]
    • Adds direct control of HomeKit accessories in Control Center
  • Developer:
    • Support for 4K YouTube videos on Apple TV 4K, supporting "the latest YouTube videos", reportedly through VP9 support. [46] [47]

See also

Other operating systems developed by Apple Inc.

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macOS is a series of proprietary graphical operating systems developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers. Within the market of desktop, laptop and home computers, and by web usage, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows.

Apple Remote remote control device

The Apple Remote is a remote control introduced in October 2005 by Apple Inc. for use with a number of its products with infrared capability. It was originally designed to control the Front Row media center program on the iMac G5 and is compatible with many subsequent Macintosh computers. The first three generations of Apple TV used the Apple Remote as their primary control mechanism. It has now been replaced with the Siri Remote in the fourth generation. Prior to the Apple Remote, Apple produced several nameless IR remotes for products such as the Macintosh TV, TV tuner expansion boards, and the PowerCD drive.

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Apple TV is a digital media player and microconsole developed and sold by Apple Inc. It is a small network appliance and entertainment device that can receive digital data for visual and audio content such as music, video, video games, or the screen display of certain other devices, and play it on a connected television set or other video display.

iOS Mobile operating system by Apple

iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; it also powered the iPad until the introduction of iPadOS in 2019. It is the world's second-most widely installed mobile operating system, after Android. It is the basis for three other operating systems made by Apple: iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

iOS is a mobile operating system, developed by Apple Inc. for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and HomePod. Updates for iOS are released through iTunes on Microsoft Windows and versions of macOS before macOS Catalina and, since iOS 5, via over-the-air software updates. With the announcement of iOS 5 on June 6, 2011, a USB connection to iTunes was no longer needed to activate iOS devices; data synchronization can happen automatically and wirelessly through Apple's iCloud service. Major new iOS releases are announced yearly during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and are usually released in September of the same year, usually coinciding with the release of new iPhone models. On September 24, 2019, Apple rebranded the operating system for the iPad line to iPadOS. iPadOS is similar to iOS but has received a few tablet oriented features. The most recent version of iOS and iPadOS is 13.5.1 which was released on June 1, 2020. The most recent iOS 13 beta release is 13.6 GM, which was released on July 9, 2020; the most recent iOS 14 beta releases include 14.0 beta 2, which was released on July 7, 2020, and 14.0 public beta 1, which was released on July 9, 2020.

iTunes Remote software application developed by Apple Inc. for iOS devices

iTunes Remote is a software application developed by Apple Inc. for iOS devices that allows for remote control of Apple TV or iTunes library in an area with Wi-Fi connectivity using the proprietary Digital Audio Control Protocol (DACP). It is currently available as a free download from the App Store for iOS devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Siri Software based personal assistant from Apple Inc.

Siri is a virtual assistant that is part of Apple Inc.'s iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS operating systems. The assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. The software adapts to users' individual language usages, searches, and preferences, with continuing use. Returned results are individualized.

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CarPlay protocol for connecting Apple hardware to car radios

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iOS 8 Eighth major release of iOS, the mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc.

iOS 8 is the eighth major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc., being the successor to iOS 7. It was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, 2014, and was released on September 17, 2014. It was succeeded by iOS 9 on September 16, 2015.

watchOS mobile operating system of the Apple Watch

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HomeKit software framework by Apple

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iOS 13 is the thirteenth and current major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. for their iPhone, iPod Touch, and HomePod lines. The successor to iOS 12 on those devices, it was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 3, 2019, and released on September 19, 2019. It will be succeeded by iOS 14, announced on June 22, 2020, and set to release in Fall 2020. The current release is 13.5.1, released June 1, 2020.

macOS Catalina 16th major version of the macOS operating system

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iPadOS 13 Mobile operating system of the iPad

iPadOS 13 is the first major release of the iPadOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. for their iPad line of tablet computers. The successor to iOS 12 on those devices, it was announced at the company's 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), as a derivation from iOS but with a greater emphasis on multitasking. It was released in September 2019.

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macOS Big Sur Upcoming major version of the macOS operating system

macOS Big Sur is the next major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s operating system for Macintosh computers. It is the successor to macOS Catalina and was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 22, 2020, with public beta release scheduled for July and official public release scheduled for late October or early November. It is named after the coastal region of Big Sur in the Central Coast of California.

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