Apple released tvOS 17 for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD during WWDC 2023. With this latest update, it is possible to use FaceTime on the Apple TV media player. Apple’s tvOS 17 also includes a new Control Center and other improvements that let you customize the software even more and use it with your iPhone.
tvOS 17 and FaceTime
Starting this fall, Apple TV 4K users will be able to use the new FaceTime app on Apple TV and make calls directly from Apple TV or make calls on iPhone or iPad and transfer them to Apple TV. FaceTime on Apple TV uses Continuity Camera support to connect wirelessly to your iPhone or iPad. Everything comes together on your TV via the camera and microphone on your device.
The center point ensures that everyone in the room remains perfectly in view, even when participants move around. In addition, new gesture-activated responses make every conversation even more fun by generating on-screen effects such as hearts or fireworks. And with the introduction of Split View for Apple TV, you can enjoy a movie or series with your loved ones in a SharePlay session while simultaneously seeing everyone on the FaceTime call.
Later this year, you can also expect apps like Webex by Cisco and Zoom on tvOS so that you can use all associated video conferencing features on Apple TV 4K. Continuity Camera is also being integrated into Apple Music Sing, a feature that lets you sing along to your favorite songs. This allows you to see yourself on the screen and add funny filters.
The new Apple TV control panel makes it easier to access necessary settings and information. The control panel now shows the system status, including the time and active profile, and expands with other valuable details depending on your activity.
Apple TV and iPhone
With the arrival of tvOS 17, the seamless integration of Apple TV and iPhone is expanded with the ability to find the Siri Remote. You can launch the Apple TV remote from Control Center on your iPhone to locate your Siri Remote (2nd generation or later). As you approach the remote, you’ll see a circle on the screen enlarged to indicate you’re warm.
In addition, when you use the remote on your iPhone to turn on and control Apple TV, you automatically activate the correct profile. This way, you can be sure that you will have access to your recently viewed series and personal recommendations. Additional settings and preferences are saved for each user profile, such as your system language and paired AirPods. In short, you enjoy an even more personal experience.
Other features you can expect in tvOS 17 include:
- Enhance dialog, which helps you hear what is being said when a movie or series on Apple TV 4K paired with a HomePod (2nd generation) has a lot of effects, action, and music. Dialogues are hereby separated from background sounds and reproduced via the center channel.
- Support for Dolby Vision 8.1, allowing you to enjoy a cinematic visual experience with dynamic metadata for more films and series.
- Apple Fitness+ improvements, including Custom Programs, a new way to receive custom workouts or meditation schedules based on day, duration, workout type, and more; Stacks, which allow you to select multiple workouts and meditation sessions to perform one after the other; and Audiofocus, which allows you to indicate whether you prefer the music volume or the trainer’s voice.
- Support third-party VPNs so developers can create VPN apps for Apple TV. This can be useful for accessing your shielded network’s content in business or education. Apple TV is thus emerging as an excellent solution for even more office environments and meeting rooms.
The developer beta of tvOS is available today through the Apple Developer Program. tvOS 17 will be available to download as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD in the fall.