Excited at the prospect of tvOS 14? With the WWDC expo only a few days away, it’s the perfect time for Apple to announce an update to tvOS, the smart TV platform powering our Apple TV 4K streaming devices.
It seems even more likely amid rumors of a new Apple TV 4K model for 2020, and we have a fair few thoughts about what could be improved in a software update – especially with regards to the Apple TV Plus streaming service.
tvOS 13 brought in some big differences to the platform, adding multi-user support with personalized recommendations, a new-and-improved Control Center, improvements to the TV App ahead of Apple TV Plus, as well as compatibility with the Xbox One and PS4 DualShock 4 controller for Apple Arcade play.
tvOS 13 also got shown off for the first time at WWDC 2019, making this the perfect opportunity for Apple to tease what else is to come. Below you’ll find why we think tvOS 14 could be imminent, why it’s timely for Apple, and what we want to see in an update for the OS.
tvOS 14 release date and beta
It’s a certainty that tvOS 14 will drop at some point, but when depends on how urgently Apple wants to introduce new features for the platform.
tvOS 13 was shown off at WWDC in June 2019, with the beta rolled out in the successive weeks. It wasn’t until September that year that the full version was released, and a similar timeline for 2020 seems likely.
tvOS 14: Apple TV 4K rumors
It’s also usual for Apple to bring in software changes when preempting new hardware releases. We saw this with tvOS 13, which paved the way for the Apple TV Plus streaming service, which is integrated into the Apple TV app.
We’ve heard substantial rumors about a new Apple TV 4K model from tech analyst Jon Prosser, who has been leaking plenty of Apple-related news in the past few months – including plans for a foldable iPhone.
Prosser asserted that a 4K streaming model was coming with an A12X processor – the kind used in the 12.9-inch iPad launched in 2018 – which would offer a big step up in performance from the A10X Fusion chip currently used in the Apple TV 4K.
New Apple TV 4K with A12X – 64GB/128GB ready to ship. 👀Codename: Neptune T1125Another one of those things that could drop any time. Apple got no chill right now 😬😂I’ll let you know if/when I hear a date. Who knows, maybe Apple can keep it a secret from me 🤗May 7, 2020
We also caught wind of a new Apple TV 4K model in the tvOS 13.4 beta code – with the same T1125 code name used by Prosser – and the stage seems set for Apple to introduced a new streaming device with the processing chops to help it compete with the likes of the Nvidia Shield TV.
tvOS 14: what we want to see
AppleInsider has reported on possible Kids profiles for future tvOS updates, restricting mature content and enabling parents to keep tracking of screen time usage, too – and we’d certainly like to see it.
Improved Apple TV Plus integration
One of our main bugbears about Apple TV Plus at launch was the way it was integrated into the Apple TV app, with Plus content being dropped into existing content rows rather than receiving its own dedicated in-app tab.
A software update for 2020 is the perfect opportunity to remedy this, especially now that Apple TV Plus has expanded its launch lineup, with far more shows and series to clutter up a standalone tab.
New hardware on the way
The most exciting reason to update tvOS 13 would be to ready the platform for new Apple TV hardware. It’s been over three years since the last iteration of Apple TV 4K, and there are certainly improvements to be made, not just in the built-in processor but also new port standards like HDMI 2.1 that could help it stand out in 2020.
tvOS 13: everything introduced in the last update
New home screen and multi-user support
The most important update coming to tvOS 13 is the new home screen, which will offer better recommendations for everyone in the family. For this to work, each user in the home will need their own profile, including your kids, but when it’s setup you’ll see TV shows, movies and music recommendations personalized to you.
What’s unclear at this point is if those profiles will need to be tied to an Apple account or if there will be one master account that has the payment info for everyone – attaching a credit card to a kid’s account sounds like a potentially awful idea, but it seems likely that Apple will adopt Parental Controls for these accounts.
So how will you switch between accounts? Control Center, of course.
Apple tvOS will support Xbox One and PS4 controllers
It was apparent that Apple Arcade would require controllers ever since it was announced last year – how else could you play 3D platformers like Oceanhorn 2?
Now we know exactly which controllers we’ll be using: the Xbox One and PS4 DualShock 4 gamepads.
Connecting them to your Apple TV is a bit of a process, but once you do, you have a functioning MFI controller without spending extra money.
Apple Music lyrics and a new screensaver
We knew Apple Music would play a key role at WWDC this year, just not on Apple TV. That said, however, we’re happy it made an appearance.
New on tvOS 13 will be the ability to see lyrics on Apple Music in time with the song – a minor feature, but one that’s nice to see all the same. To go alongside the new lyrics, you’ll also see personalized song recommendations on the new home screen based on your listening habits to help you find that next hit.
We’re expecting the PiP mode feature to be retained in the final version of tvOS 14, though it might get tweaked along the way. It would be good to see it support other apps besides Apple’s own, for instance.
- Catch all the announcements from the event in our WWDC 2019 news hub
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