News coming soon in the Apple world. Similar phrases attract the attention of everyday users of smartphones, tablets and computers, as Apple’s workhorses are the iPhone, iPad and iMac. But this time we use it for something different.
The company is in fact also very active in the TV field, and wants to innovate as it has always done. In a recent press release, two big news items for big screens were announced.
A new version of the Apple TV 4K is on the way. It promises to push its features even further; and major updates for the dedicated operating system, tvOS, which add important functions, are also on the way. Let’s see everything in detail.
New Apple TV 4K: features, release date and pre-orders
Apple’s press release puts the new version of its TV set-top box, the Apple TV 4K, first. The name does not change but the technical features do. In fact, the latest model will be based on the updated A15 Bionic chip.
The overall quality has to increase and Apple knows this. The new box to be connected to the TV will therefore offer joint support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, which together with the aforementioned A15 Bionic will increase video quality even further.
Along with the box will be Apple TV’s traditional remote control, the Siri Remote. In this case, it will be identical to the one distributed in the previous version. Therefore, equipped with buttons for power, navigation, connection, quick play/pause, and a side button to activate voice commands. The difference will be in the connector, which becomes a more modern USB Type-C.
Apple TV 4K will go on sale in two configurations:
- the basic version with 64 GB of storage and only the module to connect over Wi-Fi;
- the advanced version with 128 GB of storage and, in addition to Wi-Fi, an Ethernet socket (with Gigabit Ethernet support).
You can already pre-order the new version of Apple TV 4K, only through the store on Apple’s official website. Availability starts on 4 November.
Both models will be super-integrated with the Apple ecosystem. In fact, because they will include the original tvOS operating system for television set. After all, integration is Apple’s main weapon, and it often makes it win over rival Samsung. And it is precisely for the proprietary tvOS system that further big innovations are planned.
New tvOS features: what they are and when they will arrive
The other half of the announcement seems to be a follow-up to the big news of the recently released smartphone operating system, the iOS 16. The system for TVs is also being updated: tvOS 16 will bring entirely new features.
The main novelties will concern Siri, the voice assistant, which is the protagonist of a ‘complete redesign’ on the OS for large screens. The interface will be more compact, made up of tabs, so it will be able to sit on one side of the TV, making it smoother to navigate, search and choose the next content to watch (without going to a separate page).
Big improvement also for Siri’s voice recognition. The assistant will be able to distinguish which voice is making requests of the various people in the house. Thus, offering immediate access to his personal content: he will be able to get him to resume an interrupted viewing, let him access his own catalogue, or simply give him recommendations aimed at himself and not the other members of the household. The latter function will also be activated by simply asking Siri “What can I watch?” directly in the Siri Remote.
Also new for AirPods earbuds: when wearing them, Apple users can simply say ‘Hey, Siri’ to start using Apple TV voice commands completely hands-free! There will be no need to grab the TV remote control either.
Apple tvOS features: shares ad synchronised activities
The new tvOS will then take care of keeping all Apple users’ daily work and activity synchronised. It is promised that the SharePlay function for shared viewing will work better than ever. The user will be able to start a FaceTime session on iPhone and iPad at the same time as their partner, to comment on films and series in real time, without time differences.
And finally, there is a new tvOS feature that also concerns the shared photo library: Apple promises that integration with iPhones at home will be seamless and everyone will be able to show their photos on the big screen with ease, thanks to app updates.
This incredible amount of new elements for tvOS does not yet have an official release date, but given Apple’s classic timeframe, it should come within a few months. Maybe even before the end of 2022 we will be able to benefit from the new updated tvOS 16 on old and new Apple TV boxes.