Apple has today released tvOS 16, bringing what at best can be described as small, incremental changes for the Apple TV.
Apple said nothing about tvOS 16 during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote presentation or in its recent Far Out event, so it comes as no surprise that MacRumors reports only a small number of new features and changes in the update:
tvOS 16 enables cross-device connectivity, a feature that allows developers to integrate Apple TV apps with iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch apps to unlock new experiences on the TV. Apple has also improved how multiple user profiles work in tvOS 16 by adding a shared keychain, so users won't need to sign in and choose their profile when launching an Apple TV app.
Game controller support has been expanded to the Nintendo Joy-Cons and Pro Controller, and HDR10+ support is available in the tvOS 16 Apple TV app. With tvOS 16, the Apple TV will support Matter, an upcoming standard that will improve interoperability between smart home accessories from different companies.
Apple's release notes for tvOS 16 mention a few additional changes:
Here are some of the new features and enhancements in the latest version of tvOS. Not all features and content are available in all countries or regions.
- Support for multiple languages. Add multiple languages to Apple TV so that you can quickly switch input languages when entering text using the onscreen keyboard, or change the display language. See Change the language or region format on Apple TV.
- Buddy Controller. Play games on Apple TV with assistance from a friend by combining two game controllers for use as a single player. See Adjust game controller settings on Apple TV.
- Support for Personalized Spatial Audio. Use your iPhone with iOS 16 or later to create a Spatial Audio profile that improves sound on AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max when you use them with Apple TV. See Access Spatial Audio and noise controls for AirPods on Apple TV 4K.
- My Sports. Turn on My Sports in the Apple TV app to follow your teams on Apple TV as well as across Apple News and other Apple apps on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. See Sports in the Apple TV app.
- Hover Text (accessibility feature). Turn on Hover Text to see an enlarged text box for any item you select on Apple TV. See Use Hover Text to see enlarged text for items you select on Apple TV.
To install tvOS 16, on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, go to the Settings channel, then navigate to the System section near the bottom. From here, navigate to Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install. Wait for your Apple TV to download the update, and do not disconnect or unplug your Apple TV until the update completes.
More information on how to update the software on your Apple TV is available on this Apple Support page.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this update. What do you like? What do you not like? Or are you simply disappointed that tvOS 16 brings so little to like or dislike? Let us know by adding a comment below.