FAQ: tvOS 14

Here is ev­ery­thing you need to know about tvOS 14, in­clud­ing its ma­jor new fea­tures.

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Ja­son Cross re­ports

Ap­ple’s tvOS isn’t Ap­ple’s most pop­u­lar op­er­at­ing sys­tem, but if you have an Ap­ple TV, you def­i­nitely care about what each ma­jor new ver­sion brings.

With tvOS 13 (and sub­se­quent point re­leases) we got a lot of big fea­tures like in­ter­face changes, Xbox and PlaySta­tion con­troller sup­port, mul­ti­ple users and Con­trol Cen­tre. By com­par­i­son, the fea­tures com­ing in tvOS 14 are mi­nor, but some­times the lit­tle things makes all the dif­fer­ence. Here’s what you can ex­pect when tvOS 14 launches this au­tumn.

4K YouTube videos

It is amaz­ing that it has taken this long. No mat­ter what video you watch on the YouTube app on your Ap­ple TV 4K, it will only play back at a max­i­mum of 1080p with no HDR.

With tvOS 14, the lat­est YouTube videos will play in full 4K. It’s not clear if this is be­cause Ap­ple fi­nally de­cided to li­cense the VP9 codec or if it only ap­plies to videos that YouTube en­codes in the new AV1 video for­mat, but ei­ther way, it looks like the lat­est 4K YouTube stuff will ac­tu­ally play in 4K.

Pic­ture-in-pic­ture every­where

With tvOS 13, you could shrink a video down to a lit­tle pic­ture-in-pic­ture square, but only within the TV app. The tvOS 14 up­date breaks it out to work all over

the sys­tem. You can use PiP to watch a show while run­ning a work­out app, for ex­am­ple.

Gam­ing im­prove­ments

While tvOS it­self has had sup­port for mul­ti­ple users since tvOS 13, it was al­ways a real pain to switch from one user to the next.

That’s fixed in tvOS 14, which lets you switch users via Con­trol Cen­tre and have the new player’s set­tings and progress loaded, while the first player’s saves to the cloud.

Speak­ing of game con­trollers, Ap­ple has added sup­port for the Xbox Elite ver­sion 2 and Xbox Adap­tive game con­troller, in ad­di­tion to the Xbox One and PlaySta­tion 4 con­trollers it al­ready sup­ports.

Air­Play in 4K from Pho­tos app

When us­ing Air­Play to send pho­tos or videos to your Ap­ple TV 4K from your iPhone (run­ning iOS 14) or iPad (run­ning iPadOS 14), you’ll see them at full qual­ity. For many peo­ple, their 4K TV is the best screen in the house, and is much higher res­o­lu­tion than their iPhone or iPad dis­play. This will make Air­Play to the TV the best way to look at pho­tos and videos them.

Home view

In the up­dated con­trol cen­tre, Ap­ple has a Home View fea­ture that can show HomeKit com­pat­i­ble cam­eras and more. It’s not the full Home app you have on your phone, but it’s a way you can see con­nected cam­eras and other de­vices on your TV, as well as trig­ger scenes.

Au­dio shar­ing

You can al­ready con­nect AirPods to your Ap­ple TV and lis­ten pri­vately. With tvOS 14, you’ll be able to con­nect two sets at the same time, so you and a friend can lis­ten with­out dis­turb­ing any­one else.

It’s a fea­ture Ap­ple im­ple­mented on iOS and iPadOS last year, and it makes a lot of sense in the liv­ing room, too.

Com­pat­i­ble de­vices

If your Ap­ple TV hard­ware can run tvOS 13, it can run tvOS 14. That means Ap­ple TV HD (orig­i­nally called 4th gen­er­a­tion Ap­ple TV) or Ap­ple TV 4K (5th gen­er­a­tion). If your Ap­ple TV was re­leased be­fore 2015, it runs an older Ap­ple TV soft­ware rather than tvOS, and won’t get tvOS 14.

Re­lease date

Ap­ple will al­most cer­tainly re­lease tvOS 14 this au­tumn, along with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur. In the past, the re­lease has usu­ally come in Septem­ber, but the COVID-19 global pan­demic may have af­fected de­vel­op­ment sched­ules some­what. When the up­date comes, open the Set­tings app, then go to Sys­tem and Soft­ware Up­date.

Pub­lic beta

Ap­ple has cur­rently re­leased a de­vel­oper beta for tvOS 14. If you’re a reg­is­tered de­vel­oper, you can go to de­vel­oper.ap­ple.com/down­load/ to get a beta pro­file, which must then be in­stalled on your Ap­ple TV hard­ware through Xcode on a Mac.

Ap­ple runs a pub­lic beta pro­gramme for tvOS as well. You can reg­is­ter for it by go­ing to beta.ap­ple. com, sign­ing in with the same Ap­ple ID you use on your Ap­ple TV, and ac­cept­ing all the terms and con­di­tions. Once you do that, you’ll need to en­able beta up­dates on your Ap­ple TV.

On your Ap­ple TV, launch the Set­tings app and se­lect Sys­tem, then Soft­ware Up­dates. You should see an op­tion for Get Pub­lic Beta Up­dates. En­able that, then when a new beta is avail­able, choose Up­date Soft­ware. The pub­lic beta test is ex­pected to be­gin in July.

Pic­ture-in-pic­ture is avail­able through­out tvOS 14

Couch co-op gam­ing be­comes a real thing with mul­ti­ple sign-ins on mul­ti­player games

Your iPhone pho­tos and videos will look bet­ter than ever on your big TV

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