Apple TV users will receive a number of new features when tvOS 17 arrives later this year, ranging from long-awaited FaceTime integration to a HomePod-enabled dialogue boost mode.
The first public beta of tvOS 17 rolled out Wednesday, revealing a taste of upcoming features in the new version of the Apple TV operating system.
You can try tvOS 17 now by installing the beta version on your Apple TV hardware, with 9to5Mac details the tvOS 17 beta installation process.
Unless you’re comfortable addressing any bugs that surfaced during the tvOS 17 beta test, you should probably hold off the update until the final release arrives, which should happen this fall.
If you decide to wait, you can still check out the new features coming to tvOS 17, which Apple detailed during its WWDC keynote in June.
Here are the five tvOS features we can’t wait to see.
Hard to believe, but Apple is only now rolling out support for FaceTime calling on Apple TV with the upcoming iOS 17 update. But even once FaceTime finally lands on Apple TV, it will still require the assistance of an iPhone or iPad .
Apple says you’ll be able to start FaceTime calls on Apple TV in two ways: by transferring a FaceTime call from your iPhone or iPad, or by starting a FaceTime chat directly from the Apple TV’s FaceTime app.
Once in a call, your Apple TV will need help from the camera and microphones on your iPhone or iPad, using the existing Continuity Camera feature that was initially only for MacBooks.
The lens of your Apple phone or tablet will be able to follow you around the room (you’ll need a newer iPhone or iPad that supports Center Stage functionality), and you’ll be able to trigger animations using hand gestures; for example, making a heart-shaped gesture with your hands will generate floating hearts.
The controls on your iPhone or iPad will allow you to move FaceTime calls to an Apple TV to your personal device, and if another FaceTime call comes in during an active session on the big screen, a notification for the incoming call will appear without revealing who it is. on the other side.
In addition to FaceTime, Apple is promising that Webex and Zoom will be coming to Apple TV later this year.
Refurbished control center
tvOS 17 will bring a complete redesign of the Apple TV Control Center, adding tabs across the top that let you switch between controls for audio output devices, Apple Home, key Apple TV settings, and profiles.
The Home tab, for example, will let you see live feeds from your security cameras, as well as buttons for your favorite HomeKit scenes, while the Settings tab shows your Apple TV’s Wi-Fi status, current Focus mode, connected controllers, accessibility options, and a large off button.
Finally, the tabbed interface along the top of Control Center will display the time, Apple TV status details, and the active profile.
Siri remote finder
Has your sofa swallowed your Siri remote? It’s bound to happen if it hasn’t already, and a new feature in tvOS 17 will help you find the wayward wand.
Once the tvOS 17 update is live, you’ll be able to track down a missing 2nd generation Siri Remote by launching the Apple TV remote within Control Center on an iPhone.
Just tap the viewfinder button and a blue-and-white radar-style animation will appear, with the outer blue circle getting bigger the closer you get to the lost Siri Remote.
When you’re close enough to the remote to grab it, the entire iPhone display will turn blue, with a caption that reads “search for your remote nearby.”
If you like Apple TV screensavers that feature mesmerizing slow-motion footage of floating jellyfish and Amazon rainforests, good news: more screensavers are coming with iOS 17.
Expect new overhead screensavers of Arizona’s Monument Valley and California’s coastal redwoods, for starters.
Even better, you’ll be able to use curated Memories images from your Photos library as your Apple TV screensaver.
Last but not least, Apple TV will soon let you boost the sound of dialogue, but the feature won’t work with any older audio output devices.
The new Enhance Dialogue mode works by separating dialogue from sound effects, music and other background noise and “bringing it forward to the center channel,” Apple says.
Nice, but the feature will only work with a second-generation HomePod, not your TV speakers, soundbar, or other audio devices. (Fortunately, many soundbars come with their own ways to enhance dialogue.)