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Earlier today, Apple held its annual WWDC event where it unveiled a number of platform changes and upgrades, including for Apple TV and tvOS. Among other things, users can expect multi-user game support, greater HomeKit support, and YouTube in 4K.
Apple TV runs on the company’s tvOS platform and it is this that’s being updated soon, after Apple announced tvOS 14, along with the improvements to iOS 14, macOS 14, and the other platforms Apple caters to. During the main presentation, the details on tvOS 14 were few and far between, compared to the other platforms. Although since then, the company has released more information through its website.
In a press release, Apple confirmed that with tvOS 14, users can expect the ability to access HomeKit-enabled video cameras and accessories when using Siri or Control Center. In turn, those same users can also receive doorbell notifications on the TV, as well as the ability to see who is actually at the door.
Apple also confirmed that tvOS 14’s multi-user support has been expanded to include Apple Arcade. Using Control Center as a means to switch between users, this will allow multi-person households to play their own games and resume where each of them left off last time.
More Apple TV and tvOS 14 improvements
While that was the sum of the main features detailed in Apple’s tvOS announcement, the company has since updated its main Apple TV page with some additional information. Specifically, there’s now a ‘coming this fall’ section at the bottom of the page that provides further insight into some of these tvOS 14 features.
For example, on the multi-user gaming support, besides the easier ability to switch between different users, Apple also confirmed a widening of controller support, thanks to the addition of Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive Controllers. Likewise, this section also confirms that Apple TV will soon support picture-in-picture and 4K YouTube playback.
Regardless of whether an individual owns a standard or 4K Apple TV player, YouTube in 4K was not previously possible. The reason behind this was thought to be the lack of Apple TV support for the VP9 format used by YouTube. However, with Apple having now confirmed 4K YouTube playback will be possible later in the year, it looks like that hurdle has finally been overcome.
Overall, the time paid and the details revealed in today’s announcements suggests the updates and improvements coming to tvOS 14 are not quite as substantial as those coming to the company’s other platforms and devices. That said, with greater multi-user gaming support, YouTube in 4K, and better integration with smart home security devices, many of these upgrades are ones that will improve the quality of the Apple TV and tvOS experience overall.