tvOS 15 — Everything We Currently Know

tvOS — Apple

As WWDC 2021 is approaching very soon, Apple’s tvOS software will soon be getting an upgrade with a new model of the Apple TV expected to launch soon as well. Find out all of the details about the upcoming software release.

When will tvOS 15be released?

WWDC is usually held in June and this is the event where all of the latest software is announced including tvOS. The beta versions of the app are released straight away following the event. The final version should be expected to release soon after.

Will my Apple Watch support tvOS 15?

With the release of tvOS 15, it is likely that all of the models that are currently running the latest tvOS 14 software will continue to receive support for the latest version of the software. Users of the third generation Apple TV may wish to upgrade their hardware with many apps no longer supporting the device.

All of the models receiving the upgrade are:

  1. Apple TV HD
  2. Apple TV 4K
  3. Apple TV (upcoming new model, name tbc)

What new features will be added in tvOS 15 and what do we want to see?

With the launch of the Fitness+ service (see review here) it would be amazing to see some updates to the fitness app. Currently, there seems to be a lot of bugs to the app, so we should expect these to be ironed out. New features like statistics and multi user support at the same time, would also be welcomed.

Siri on the Apple TV is extremely limited and cannot do much apart from find you shows and movies to watch and control your smart home, but even this experience could be improved. Some more capability would also be appreciated with most questions being responded to with “I cant do that here”. Siri also does not speak on the Apple TV, and you have to read its response, this could be changed so that Siri does speak.

There may also be new pre-installed apps. If there is anything that we have seen last year is that video conferencing is becoming more and more common. Some version of FaceTime would be good to see although this is unlikely. Although the Apple TV box does not have a camera, Apple or a third party accessory could be created to allow you to FaceTime from your big screen. News and weather are also some things a lot of people check their TV for so some version of this would be good to see. Finally, there is no internet browser on the Apple TV. Most attempts so far are not the cleanest and feel very cluttered on competitor devices; perhaps Apple could offer an improved Safari experience onto the Apple TV. On screen widgets may also be a possibility.

There will almost certainly be new screensavers as these are usually updated every year. Although there is not much choice in terms of wallpaper. There is the standard light wallpaper and enabling dark mode gives a darker appearance. Maybe some new colours.

The tvOS App Store will also undergo a major refresh. The layout does not make discovering new apps easy so this is a welcome change. This update was expected last year but with the Apple TV box launch date pushed back until this year, the change is now likely to come with tvOS 15. The tvOS app does not have many apps and it looks like Apple wants to do something about this. They have also already launched the first-ever design toolkit for the platform. This includes design templates, colours, materials, and more. These new tools should make it much easier for app developers to create mock ups and concepts for their apps and will hopefully stimulate growth of the tvOS App Store.

Some of the most rumoured changes that we should definitely expect are a new kids mode. This should allow all the content promoted on the Apple TV app to be targeted towards kids only and block out anything that is not suitable for a younger audience. There is potential for this change to be added to the App Store, Podcast and Apple Music app, although this is not likely. Full parental controls are also expected. Screen time will finally be added to the Apple TV, becoming the last product to gain the feature with the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPhone already having it.

tvOS 15 — Everything We Currently Know was originally published in Adventures in Consumer Technology on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.