With tvOS 17, FaceTime is coming to to Apple TV 4K, so users — for the first time ever — can enjoy the popular app on their TV for even more engaging conversations with family and friends.
tvOS 17 also introduces an all-new Control Center, along with other enhancements that provide a more personalized experience that works even better with iPhone. Apple TV 4K brings together Apple TV+ and all of the most popular streaming apps — in cinematic picture and audio quality — as well as Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Arcade to the biggest screen in the home.
Boasting the powerful performance of the A15 Bionic chip, intuitive controls, and seamless interaction with Apple devices and smart home accessories, tvOS 17 is available as a developer beta today, and it will be available as a free software update this fall.
“tvOS 17 transforms the biggest screen in the home with FaceTime and new video conferencing capabilities, giving Apple TV 4K users the ability to easily connect with anyone right from their living room,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
“New features and enhancements make Apple TV simpler to use and even more enjoyable, reinforcing it as the absolute best option in the living room for Apple customers.”
Starting this fall, Apple TV 4K users can take advantage of the new FaceTime app on Apple TV and initiate calls directly from Apple TV, or start calls on iPhone or iPad, and hand them off to Apple TV.
FaceTime on Apple TV takes advantage of Continuity Camera support to wirelessly connect to the user’s iPhone or iPad, and leverages the device’s camera and microphone to bring participants together on the TV.
Center Stage keeps everyone in the room perfectly framed on the screen, even as they move around, while new gesture-based reactions allow callers to use their hands to generate onscreen effects, such as hearts or fireworks, and add even more fun to the conversation.
The introduction of Split View for Apple TV lets users enjoy watching shows or movies with their loved ones during a SharePlay session while also seeing everyone on the FaceTime call.
Controls on iPhone or iPad make it easy to transfer a FaceTime call back to those devices as needed. If another FaceTime or phone call comes in during a session, a notification appears on the TV to let the user know someone is calling — without revealing who the caller is, to preserve the user’s privacy on a communal device.
Later this year, video conferencing apps like Webex by Cisco and Zoom will launch on tvOS, bringing their communications capabilities to Apple TV 4K. Developers can take advantage of Continuity Camera APIs on Apple TV 4K to integrate the iPhone or iPad camera and microphone into their tvOS app, and create new shared and immersive entertainment experiences for the living room.
Apple Music Sing — a feature that lets users sing along to their favourite tracks — will also integrate Continuity Camera so users can see themselves onscreen and add entertaining filters.
A More Personalized Experience That Works Even Better with iPhone
The new Control Center on Apple TV makes it easier than ever for users to access key settings and information throughout the entire Apple TV experience. Control Center now displays system status, including the time and active profile, and expands with other helpful details based on a user’s activity.
tvOS 17 strengthens the seamless integration of Apple TV and iPhone with the ability to locate the Siri Remote. Users can launch the Apple TV remote inside Control Center on iPhone to find their Siri Remote (2nd generation or later). As users get closer to the remote, an onscreen circle grows in size to guide their movement.
In addition, when using the remote on iPhone to wake up and control Apple TV, users will be automatically switched to their profile, ensuring they have access to their recently watched shows and personalized recommendations.
Additional settings and preferences are now saved for each user profile, including their system language and paired AirPods, delivering an even more personalized experience.
Screen saver enhancements provide a more beautiful and even more customized experience on Apple TV, as users can now enjoy curated Memories from their personal library, shared library, or both on the big screen.