Apple has made significant announcements regarding the upcoming tvOS 17, which will enhance the display and user experience of the Apple TV 4K. The updates include the introduction of FaceTime, a more personalized Control Center, and other visual enhancements intended to improve compatibility with other Apple devices. I don’t usually like to comment when reporting the news, but FaceTime on Apple TV is a feature that I am very excited about. It’s the killer app for me.
FaceTime on the Apple TV 4K allows users to initiate calls directly from their TV or start them on an iPhone or iPad, before handing them off to the Apple TV. The feature uses Continuity Camera support, connecting wirelessly to the user’s iPhone or iPad camera and microphone essentially turning them into the webcam for the TV. The application utilizes a feature called Center Stage to keep everyone in frame during calls, which is pretty useful in a big room setting, in front of a TV. A Split View feature will also be introduced, allowing Apple TV users to watch shows or movies in a SharePlay session while also maintaining visual contact with others on a FaceTime call.
Another significant addition to the tvOS 17 update is the new Control Center. This feature displays system status and active profiles, expanding with additional helpful details based on the user’s activity.
Apple also introduced screen saver enhancements that allow users to enjoy curated Memories from their personal libraries, shared libraries, or both. This development comes alongside the introduction of new locations for the popular aerial screen savers.
The tvOS 17 will also support Dolby Vision 8.1, which could provide users with a more cinematic visual experience over a broader range of content. Apple mentioned the inclusion of third-party VPN support, as well, which allows developers to create VPN apps for Apple TV, potentially expanding its use in enterprise and education sectors.
|Apple TV 4K||Feature|
|Operating System||tvOS 17|
|Processor||A15 Bionic chip|
|Video Output||Up to 2160p, supports HDR10, Dolby Vision 8.1|
|Audio Output||Dolby Atmos, supports 7.1 surround sound|
|Storage||Available in 32GB or 64GB|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with MIMO|
|Ports||HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet|
|Siri Remote||Second generation Siri Remote|
|Compatibility||HD and UHD TVs with HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards, headphones and speakers|
The tvOS 17 update is available for developers in beta format now and will be released as a free software update in fall 2023.