The Apple TV will be seeing a few new features this fall with updates to tvOS.
At the keynote speech for WWDC on June 13, Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue took the stage to talk about the changes coming to the platform.
“We’ve said the future of TV is apps,” Cue stated, “and the response to Apple TV has been incredible.” He went on to quote STARZ CEO Chris Albrecht’s praise of the platform. He also quoted Hannibal Soares, the CEO of Boombit, whose game company found that Apple TV was easy to port mobile games to.
One of the new features will be the overhaul of the Remote app. The phone app will now have access to all of the features of the physical Apple TV remote as well as the added advantage of the touch screen keyboard compared to the individual key presses the physical remote offers.
Siri’s search functions on the Apple TV have also received a boost, allowing users to search by topics. On stage, Cue used the example of “high school comedies from the 80s,” which found titles including Ferris Beuller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. Siri-enabled search will also be available on other apps including YouTube.
Besides the new features, the platform will also be receiving a few new applications including SlingTV (which released on June 13 after the keynote) and Fox Sports Go which will release along with the next update in fall of 2016. Cue also made note of Molotov, a French-made app coming exclusively to Apple TV with “over 100 live channels” as well as video on demand.
One of the more touted features during the presentation was “single sign-on” which will allow users to authenticate their TV network’s credentials one time. This will streamline the process and bring the user to a single screen that showcases all of their specific network’s services.
Single sign-on will allow users to authenticate their TV network’s credentials one time
Developers will soon get access to a number of new frameworks including Replaykit for handling gameplay broadcasts as well as Photokit to access photos stored on iCloud. Apple TV will also have access to Homekit in order to control smart home devices. The update will also include mirroring: when a customer downloads the phone version of the app, the equivalent TV app will automatically download. Cue made brief mention that these were only some of the new features coming to developers, mentioning that game controllers and multiplayer gameplay will also come in the fall update.
He also took the time to drop a few choice statistical hurdles the device had overcome. While previous generations of the Apple TV had reached 80 video channels, tvOS now boasts over 1300. Cue also referenced over 6000 apps that now natively worked with the platform including games and utility apps. The platform has access to over 650,000 movies and shows through its various services.
A developer’s preview was available for sign up shortly after the keynote ended, but the final version will be available “this fall”.