During the WWDC21 keynote, Apple introduced the new iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, and watchOS 8, but it actually never mentioned tvOS 15 by its name. Despite the lack of focus on tvOS 15 during the event, there are new features coming to Apple TV later this year.
Last week for 9to5Mac, I wrote about a future where tvOS would be renamed as homeOS. There were a few reasons to believe that would happen: Apple almost never gives onstage time to talk about its Apple TV and HomePod software and a mysterious “homeOS” job application was found right before WWDC21.
Independent of my conclusion on this transition from tvOS to homeOS, what Apple did in the WWDC21 was almost abandon its Apple TV software. For example, the company focused a lot on the Home ecosystem but not properly on tvOS. It’s almost as if Apple forgot it had just updated the Apple TV 4K hardware last month.
During the keynote, I commented with my colleagues that the Spatial Audio feature coming to the new Apple TV was almost everything that we were going to hear about tvOS 15 – and, unfortunately, I was right.
It was less than a minute, and only by the end of the keynote did we know tvOS would be around for another year. In fact, we had to wait until the Apple Developer webpage went back live to discover that this software would indeed be called tvOS 15.
What happened to tvOS 15? What’s new with it?
After a keynote, Apple usually more in-depth written information about its announcements. The company published several articles about all software updates on the Apple Newsroom, but none for tvOS. On its official website, there are previews for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, and watchOS 8.
I couldn’t find a specific preview or promotional picture for tvOS 15. Only this morning I found where the new features were: under the “Coming this fall” section on the new Apple TV 4K page.
Either way, here are the seven features hopefully coming to tvOS 15 this fall, according to Apple’s website:
- SharePlay: Watch movies or shows while on a FaceTime call on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, then add Apple TV to share the viewing experience on the big screen.
- For All of You: Browse a new row in the Apple TV app to find something that everyone in the house can’t wait to watch.
- Shared with You: Movies and shows shared through Messages appear in a new row in the Apple TV app.
- Spatial Audio: Listen with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max for a theater-like experience with sound that surrounds you.
- Smart AirPods routing: Get an automatic onscreen notification to magically connect your AirPods.
- HomeKit camera enhancements: View multiple cameras around the house at the same time on your Apple TV.
- Room-filling stereo sound: Pair two HomePod mini speakers with Apple TV 4K and enjoy rich, balanced sound for everything you watch.
What do you think will be the future of tvOS and tvOS 15? Tell us in the comment section below.