While Apple placed more of an emphasis on iOS 11, macOS and watchOS during its WWDC keynote presentation, the company’s fourth and sometimes forgotten operating system, tvOS, also received a number of updates.
Improvements include new automatic light/dark appearance settings, home screen syncing options, various background modes and notification support. There are also more developer-focused features, such as API improvements, custom sound support and network-based pairing and “improved mobile device management” — though it remains unclear what this actually means.
Additionally, app size restrictions have been lifted significantly to 24GB in total, though it appears the operating system still adopts the system that allows it to continuously download and delete data in the background while using an app or playing a game.
Apple revealed its new AirPlay 2 protocol with support for multi-room audio during its WWDC 2017 keynote, noting that the Apple TV is set to be the first device to support the new protocol, though the protocol isn’t featured in the first release of tvOS 11’s beta.
“Improvements include new automatic light/dark appearance settings, home screen syncing options, various background modes and notification support.”
The tvOS ‘Computers’ app, which hasn’t really been updated to the operating system’s new user-interface look, has finally been given a fresh coat of paint.
In addition, Apple’s Avkit, the development tool that allows developers to add video scrubbing features and static images to their apps, has been expanded significantly, giving app creators working in the streaming video app space more control over the layout of their apps, as well as the ability to fine tune specific features. Additional development tools for apps capable of video livestreaming have also been shown off by Apple.
tvOS 11 is currently only available to registered developers, though Apple’s public beta side includes tvOS 11, which could indicate that a public beta is coming soon. The update process is rather awkward, unfortunately, requiring users to connect their Apple TV to iTunes via a USB-C cable. Given Apple’s software updates are usually over-the-air, this is strange.
Many expected Apple to make the jump to 4K with the Apple TV like the company’s competitors, though it seems the tech giant still isn’t ready to delve into the world of ultra high-definition content.
Finally, Apple revealed that Amazon Prime’s dedicated Video app is coming to the Apple TV during its WWDC keynote, though Apple Canada has not confirmed if the video streaming platform will come to Canada.