tvOS 11: Airplay 2, HEVC, dark/light auto switch, screen sync, more

08 Jun 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

The coming version of tvOS for Apple TV will include new features such as Airplay 2, ’Home Screen Sync’, new screensavers, and automatic switching between dark/light themes. With tvOS 11 the company is also adding HEVC decoding, which is a foundation for future 4K and HDR video in tvOS.

New features in tvOS 11

tvOS did not get stage time at the keynote besides a brief announcement that Amazon Prime Video is coming later this year. However, Apple has released a tvOS 11 beta and at WWDC’s ‘What’s new in tvOS’ session the company unveiled further details.

tvOS 11 will first and foremost include Airplay 2. The updated Airplay protocol supports multiroom at home and you can control your playlist on Apple TV4 with the remote or Siri. We have published an overview of what’s new in Airplay 2.

With tvOS 11, iOS 11, and macOS High Sierra, Apple is also enabling HEVC decoding across its products, including on Apple TV4. HEVC can reduce video bitrate “by up to 40% with same visual quality”, or improve picture quality at the same bitrate. By adding HEVC in tvOS, Apple is also laying the foundation for a future Apple TV5 with 4K and HDR. Learn more about what HEVC means for Apple TV here.

Another new feature is ‘Home Screen Sync’ that automatically synchronizes all your Apple TVs at home. It will ensure that the same apps are available and that apps are placed in the same order on all screens.

Update 9.6.17: On tvOS 11, Airpods automatically pair with Apple TV. By sliding down the top menu you can select Airpods as a wireless speaker, similar to how you would select wireless Airplay speakers, reports 9to5Mac.

“Automatic Appearance” uses location data to automatically switch between the light and dark themes at sunrise and sunset. The option to manually select between the light and dark themes was added last year.

Gamers can look forward to more advanced games when Apple increases the install package limit from 200MB to 4GB. After initial install, games can download up to 24GB of data in the background while you are gaming. Last year, the company also reversed its decision to require that all games must work with the remote. Games can, in other words, require a game controller.

Lastly, the company highlighted new screensavers, a refreshed ‘Computers’ app, notifications, support for right-to-left languages, “custom sound” support, ”network-based pairing”, and new developer-specific tools.

Apple TV

”A lot more about tvOS later this year”

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, kicked off WWDC 2017 by announcing that Amazon Prime Video will come to Apple TV later this year. It will be available as an app but also be included in the ‘TV’ app.

Speaking of the ‘TV’ app, a sort of modern TV guide for the streaming era, the company had nothing new to announce. The app is still available only in the US. Users all over the world are also waiting for Apple to add more languages to Siri and activate universal search.

Tim Cook said that we will hear "a lot more about tvOS later this year”, possibly hinting at new hardware – with 4K and HDR – at the annual hardware event in the fall.

Share on:

Latest news

JBl Link Bar

JBL launches first Android TV soundbar

16 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |
Samsung Q9FN

65-inch now 'TV size of choice' in North America

16 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |
AMD Link

AMD Link brings PC game streaming to Apple TV, Android TV

15 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Hulu is streaming in 4K again

15 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |
B&O soundbar

Bang & Olufsen soundbar in the works

11 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Warner's Netflix rival named HBO Max, launching spring 2020

10 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |
Grand Tour

Amazon Prime Video launches on Chromecast, YouTube back on Fire TV

09 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |
Hisense U9E

Hisense launches its first dual-layer LCD TV in China

09 Jul 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |