The tvOS user interface, with apps.
|C, C++, Swift, and Objective-C|
|October 30, 2015; 21 months ago (2015-10-30)|
|11.0 beta 10 (15J5380a)|
|Television, casual gaming|
|Commercial proprietary software|
|Apple TV Software 7 (based on iOS 8) – 3rd generation Apple TV only|
tvOS is an operating system developed by Apple Inc. for the fourth-generation Apple TV digital media player. tvOS was announced on September 9, 2015 at the Apple September 2015 event, alongside the 4th generation Apple TV. On October 26, 2015, 4th generation Apple TV pre-orders began, and shipments began the following week. At the Apple September 2015 Event, Hipster Whale's Andy Sum demoed Crossy Road for the Apple TV, available via the tvOS App Store. Apple also announced that other apps (such as Netflix and HBO Now) would be coming to the Apple TV running tvOS.
tvOS is based on iOS heavily rather than just the stripped-down versions of iOS that the operating systems for the 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV are. The 4th generation Apple TV, with support for third-party software via an App Store, was rumored prior to the Apple September 2015 Event held on September 9, 2015.
On October 30, 2015, the 4th generation Apple TV became available, and shipped with tvOS 9.0. On November 9, 2015, tvOS 9.0.1 was released, primarily an update to address minor issues.
tvOS 9.1 was released on December 8, 2015 along with OS X 10.11.2, iOS 9.2, and watchOS 2.1. Along with these updates, Apple also updated the Remote apps on iOS and watchOS, allowing for basic remote functionality for the 4th generation Apple TV (previously, said app only worked with past versions of Apple TV).
On November 25, 2015, Facebook debuted their SDK for tvOS, allowing applications to log into Facebook, share to Facebook, and use Facebook Analytics in the same way that iOS applications can.
On December 2, 2015, Twitter debuted their login authentication service for tvOS – "Digits" – allowing users to log into apps and services with a simple, unique code available online.
On March 11, 2016, The Pangu Team announced on Twitter that they would be creating a new jailbreak tool for the Apple TV 4 running tvOS 9.0–9.0.1 and that it would be released the following week.
On June 13, 2016, at WWDC 2016, Apple SVP of Internet Services Eddy Cue announced the next major version of tvOS, tvOS 10. tvOS 10 brings new functionality such as Siri search enhancements, single sign on for cable subscriptions, a dark mode, and a new Remote application for controlling the Apple TV.
tvOS 9 shipped with several new features on the fourth generation Apple TV. One of the major features was the ability to move through the interface with the new touchpad remote using multi-touch gestures. It introduced a new App Store in which users can download and install new applications (such as apps and games) made available from developers that develop applications for the Apple TV and tvOS. tvOS 9 adds support for Siri, which lets users do a multitude of things such as a cross-application search for a movie/TV show, rewind, fast forward, name and actor/director of the current movie, and skip back 15 seconds. tvOS added support for an application switcher on the Apple TV, more application customization options, cinematic screensavers, and control the TV using the included Siri Remote with the built-in support for HDMI-CEC in tvOS. In addition, tvOS allows the user to control the Apple TV in many different ways. These include using the included Siri Remote, pairing a third-party universal remote, pairing an MFi Gamepad to control games, using the Remote app on iOS, and pairing a Bluetooth keyboard to aid in the typing experience of the user.
tvOS was designed based on iOS, as such tvOS inherited many of the accessibility features of iOS and macOS.
tvOS includes the Apple technologies of VoiceOver, Zoom, and Siri to help the blind and those with impaired vision. VoiceOver, Apple's screen reader, is available in more than 30 languages and enables visually impaired users to know what is on the visual display and input responses to on-screen prompts. VoiceOver uses gestures similar to other Apple products (flicks, taps, and the rotor).
Like other Apple products such as the iPhone with a three click sequence to the home button to activate accessibility features, with Apple TV's tvOS, a user can activate VoiceOver without any installation process. One needs only to triple-click the Menu button on the Siri Remote and the Apple TV will guide the user through the complete initial setup, a task that is non-trivial to the visually impaired in most comparable products on the market.
Another accessibility feature is to increase contrast on the screen which acts by reducing the transparency of background elements on Movie and TV Show pages, menu tabs, and other parts of the operating system. High-contrast can also be turned on, with a cursor to better delineate the focused content. The user can also opt to turn on Reduce Motion which in some screen actions, such as moving between app icons on the Home screen and launching apps are visually simpler which is of benefit to reduce strain on the eyes.
tvOS enables users to watch movies with audio descriptions of what is being shown on the screen. Movies with audio descriptions are displayed with the AD (Audio Description) icon in the iTunes Store for tvOS and in iTunes on a Macintosh or Windows PC.
Pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with the tvOS on the Apple TV enables another accessibility feature that also is an incorporation of VoiceOver. When typing, VoiceOver mirrors with an audio voice, each character pressed on the keyboard and repeated again when it is entered. The Apple TV is designed to work with the Apple Wireless Keyboard or the Apple Magic Keyboard. It will work however with almost any brand of Bluetooth keyboard.
Apple TV with and without tvOS supports closed captioning, so the deaf or hard of hearing can experience TV episodes and feature-length movies. Compatible episodes and movies are denoted with a CC (closed captioning) or SDH (subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing) icon in the iTunes Store either on the Apple TV or in iTunes itself. The viewer can customize the captions in episodes or movies with styles and fonts that are more conducive to their hearing and/or visual impairment.
The Touch surface on the Siri Remote is customizable. Tracking when set to Fast adjusts the thumb movements made to amplify the distance in relation to how far the thumb has moved on the glass touchpad. Conversely when tracking is set to slow, larger movements of the thumb on the touchpad will tune down the distance that is traversed on the screen. This can be of great help to those struggling with Parkinson's or other movement disorders to be able to use the Apple TV in a way that fits their disability.
Apple's Remote app on iOS devices allows control of the Apple TV from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The iOS remote app increases the accessibility of the Apple TV by enabling Switch Control. Switch Control is a unique Apple technology that enables navigation sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions such as selecting, tapping, dragging, typing using third party Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware made for those with handicaps.
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tvOS ships with all-new development tools for developers. tvOS adds support for an all-new SDK for developers to build apps for the TV including all of the APIs included in iOS 9 such as Metal. It also adds an App Store which allows users to browse, download, and install a wide variety of applications. In addition, developers can now use their own interface inside of their application rather than only being able to use Apple's interface. Since tvOS is based on iOS, it is easy to port existing iOS apps to the Apple TV with Xcode while making only a few refinements to the app to better suit the larger screen. Apple provides Xcode free of charge to all registered Apple developers. To develop for the new Apple TV, it is necessary to make a parallax image for the application icon. In order to do this, Apple provides a Parallax exporter and previewer in the development tools for the Apple TV.
|9.0||13T396||October 29, 2015; 21 months ago (2015-10-29)||
|9.1||13T402||November 9, 2015; 21 months ago (2015-11-09)||
|9.2||13U85||December 8, 2015; 20 months ago (2015-12-08)||
|9.2.1||13U717||January 25, 2016; 19 months ago (2016-01-25)||
|9.3||13Y234||March 21, 2016; 17 months ago (2016-03-21)||
|9.3.2||13Y772||May 16, 2016; 15 months ago (2016-05-16)||
|9.3.3||13Y825||July 18, 2016; 13 months ago (2016-07-18)||
|10.0||14T330||September 13, 2016; 11 months ago (2016-09-13)||
|October 24, 2016; 10 months ago (2016-10-24)
November 14, 2016; 9 months ago (2016-11-14) (14U100)
|10.2||14U593||December 12, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-12-12)|
|10.2.1||14U712a||January 23, 2017; 7 months ago (2017-01-23)||
|10.3||14W265||March 27, 2017; 5 months ago (2017-03-27)||
|10.3.2||14W585a||May 15, 2017; 3 months ago (2017-05-15)||
Security and Bug Fixes
|10.3.3||14W756||July 19, 2017; 49 days ago (2017-07-19)||
Security and Bug Fixes
|11.0||15J5380a||September 5, 2017; 1 day ago (2017-09-05)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to iOS software.|
- Apple TV – official site for Apple TV