Apple's new tvOS 13 for Apple TV is now available

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
The newly updated tvOS software will be automatically installed in Apple TV boxes, and includes a redesigned home screen with picture-in-picture, multiple users, and support for games controllers.

The new tvOS shows preview images and video full screen, including underneath your apps.
The new tvOS shows preview images and video full screen, including underneath your apps.


Applehas officially released the new tvOS 13 for Apple TV hardware and compatible TV sets. It features a redesigned Apple TV app, which is where you'll be able to watch the forthcoming Apple TV+ and Apple TV Channels services. Alongside that, however, it has also revamped the overall look and functionality of Apple TV.

The most immediately noticeable change is in how the front home screen works. Previously, the top section of the screen would show a preview image or images from your selected app -- if that app is in the first row.

Now your first or top row gets a more pronounced dock-like graphic, and selecting any of the apps in there starts the new preview. Rather than a still image and above the rows of apps, the preview is now moving video and it fills the screen behind all of your apps.

It's very similar to how Netflix works, and it's visually much more striking than it was.

Multiple users and settings

Also like Netflix is the way that Apple TV can now have two or more different users, each with their own preferences, recommendations, and, most significantly, Apple Music account.

You have long been able to have different accounts on Apple TV, but only for accessing specific content. You might have different Apple IDs and depending on which you choose, you get different movie purchases, or be able to access the TV store in a different region.

Now you can set up users and all of their preferences. So whenever each family member switches to their user account, they get their purchases, their arrangement of apps, and Apple's recommendations for what they might want to watch next.

Apple Music on Apple TV now displays lyrics synced to the singing
Apple Music on Apple TV now displays lyrics synced to the singing


It's probably Apple Music that will make people use this feature. The idea of each individual getting their own recommendations of what to watch, based on what they've already seen, sounds great.

Yet those recommendations ignore the fact that many people watch their TV together. And since every user has access to all of the same Apple TV apps and material, it would be a very organized person who bothered to switch accounts just to see what Apple recommends for them alone.

However, Apple Music is different. With that service, every user has already built their own playlists, and is already aware that the weekly mixes are very well targeted to them.

Apple Music on Apple TV has also seen a redesign to make it more useful, too. You can now see lyrics to the music you're playing, and those lyrics scroll to keep in sync with the singing.

Whether Apple Music and its improvements tempt you to keep switching accounts or not, though, that switch process is straightforward.

Each user has to have an Apple ID and you have to set them up on Apple TV. Once that's done, though, you switch between them by just pressing and holding the Home button on your remote.

This is the button with an icon of a TV set, and it's the one next to the Menu button.

Press and hold that for a moment, and panel of controls will slide over from the right of the screen. This is an Apple TV Control Center, and it works in much the same way that you can swipe on iOS or Macs to bring up options.

A slide-over Control Center here shows you options for audio, but this is also where you'll be able to switch between users
A slide-over Control Center here shows you options for audio, but this is also where you'll be able to switch between users


Inside this Control Center, you can quickly switch between users. However, you can also put your Apple TV to sleep here, or you can search for something to watch. This is the same search that you can do at the top level of Apple TV, when you're not inside an app, with the advantage that now you stay watching whatever you've currently got on the screen.

Picture in picture

When you do leave an app to go somewhere else on Apple TV, then you can now use Picture-in-Picture to keep watching what you were.

This feature is limited, though. While this will presumably change as developers update their apps, during the beta phase it was only media you've bought from Apple that would successfully play in this way.




You're also going to be swiping around a lot with your Siri Remote to get to the video playing in Picture-in-Picture and then to pause or return it to the full screen.

Apple has only updated the tvOS software, not any of the hardware, so you have the same Apple TV remote that you did. However, you do now get more options for adding other hardware controllers, specifically games ones.

That's because Apple TV is going to be one place where you access your Apple Arcade subscription in order to play games. Consequently, Apple has added support for Sony Playstation Dualshock 4 controllers and Xbox One S controllers.

When you're not watching

When you're done with games or movies or TV, you should really put your Apple TV to sleep. And the new Control Center makes that straightforward, with a Sleep button right there instead of being buried in the settings menus.

You won't, though, at least not all the time, because Apple TV famously has utterly beautiful screensavers. The new tvOS 13 introduces a whole new series of them, this time consisting of gorgeous underwater photography.

How to get tvOS 13

Your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD may already have these screensavers and all of these new tvOS 13 features. With so many updates going on at the same time, though, it may take a day or two for absolutely every Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD user to get the new sofware.

Rather than wait, though, you can request a software update right now. Go to Settings, System, and click on Software Updates.

On the screen that appears, choose Update Software. This is will make your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD check for a new version and, if it's available, begin downloading too.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,104administrator
    As a reminder, comments like "I don't see it yet" aren't helpful.

    We don't publish until at least one staffer sees it on a device. As you're all aware, the rollout takes some time, and is CDN and caching-dependent.
    ihatescreennamesStrangeDayslkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I REALLY hope the "preview" feature can be turned off unlike Netflix.
    priced4evilDeelronwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    zroger73 said:
    I REALLY hope the "preview" feature can be turned off unlike Netflix.
    Me too, would def be a reason to see if I can downgrade to previous ios levels
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    It's interesting that an OS for your TV gets multi-user support before an iPad OS  :D
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    As a reminder, comments like "I don't see it yet" aren't helpful.

    We don't publish until at least one staffer sees it on a device. As you're all aware, the rollout takes some time, and is CDN and caching-dependent.

    Does anyone know what the latest roll out times are? One time my Apple TV didn't auto update for a week!

    JinTech said:
    It's interesting that an OS for your TV gets multi-user support before an iPad OS  :D

    iPad is still a more personal device whereas most Apple TVs are in a living room.

    zroger73 said:
    I REALLY hope the "preview" feature can be turned off unlike Netflix.
    Me too, would def be a reason to see if I can downgrade to previous ios levels

    Why? It's unobtrusive and the sound is muted until you swipe up to watch full screen.
    edited September 2019 n2itivguyStrangeDayslolliverpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17

    Why? It's unobtrusive and the sound is muted until you swipe up to watch full screen.
    1. Because it uses data which can be a concern for those without unlimited data.
    2. It's a visual distraction that I find extremely annoying.
    3. I consider it unwanted advertising which is one of the primary reasons I canceled my cable TV subscription and moved to Apple TV.
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    zroger73 said:

    1. Because it uses data which can be a concern for those without unlimited data.
    Mike W, the preview is just a 10-20 second loop, right? 
    (I don't have Netflix, ergo no reference. The FoxNow app does something like this, as the app starts up.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    User switching is welcome, but the eye candy aspects don’t impress me when Apple STILL hasn’t addressed fundamental operating issues like including local media in searches and being able to easily mark individual titles watched or unwatched like we could with older generations.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    zroger73 said:

    Why? It's unobtrusive and the sound is muted until you swipe up to watch full screen.
    1. Because it uses data which can be a concern for those without unlimited data.
    2. It's a visual distraction that I find extremely annoying.
    3. I consider it unwanted advertising which is one of the primary reasons I canceled my cable TV subscription and moved to Apple TV.

    1. Really? I was under the impression people used their wifi router or ethernet cable connected online from their ISP.

    2. Well it's supposed to enhance your content.

    3. It's not advertising. It's supposed to show your content. It isn't like Roku ads that suggest content you don't own.

    With that said you're in the minority and maybe they'll be an option for you. If not not maybe later.

    User switching is welcome, but the eye candy aspects don’t impress me when Apple STILL hasn’t addressed fundamental operating issues like including local media in searches and being able to easily mark individual titles watched or unwatched like we could with older generations.

    Oh tvOS updates are garbage when compared to Apples other platforms. Pisses me off how they pass minimal tweaks as a full-number OS.

    What absolutely pisses me off the most is iTunes "recommended" titles. Half the stuff they suggest, I already own. Now WHY THE F would I purchase Finding Nemo twice? Is anyone at Apple paying attention???
  • Reply 10 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    zroger73 said:

    1. Because it uses data which can be a concern for those without unlimited data.
    Mike W, the preview is just a 10-20 second loop, right? 
    (I don't have Netflix, ergo no reference. The FoxNow app does something like this, as the app starts up.)
    The Netflix one is annoying because it auto-plays audio.
    gregoriusmlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    It's interesting that an OS for your TV gets multi-user support before an iPad OS  :D

    iPad is still a more personal device whereas most Apple TVs are in a living room.
    Except for families with small children. If the code is in the TV OS, they could easily bring it to iPad OS, but to your point they probably just want people buying additional iPads. 
  • Reply 12 of 17
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,014member
    Where's the new Apple TV device and game controller that DED predicted?    
    Hopefully they do something about the remote now that Ive is gone.

    gregoriusm
  • Reply 13 of 17

    When you're not watching

    When you're done with games or movies or TV, you should really put your Apple TV to sleep. And the new Control Center makes that straightforward, with a Sleep button right there instead of being buried in the settings menus.
    Well, there was always the option to long-press the TV button (next to the Menu button) to invoke the "Sleep" option.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    I thought I’d post this for anyone having difficulties adding a user to the AppleTV via the home app. When you go into settings and add a user TVOS points out that if you manually add a user to the AppleTV then you have to do it on every AppleTV you own (a pain if you have more than one). If you add users via the Home app then they will be automatically and simultaneously added to all AppleTVs added to your home. Since this seemed way more convenient (with multiple AppleTVs), I tried this method.
    What it doesn’t tell you is that the other user has to have all of their iOS devices updated to iOS13.1/iPadOS13.1 and that you have to open the home app at least once on one of their devices. Then they get the option to add themselves. 
    A device that is registered to the Home owner (master account?) has an option to add other users to the AppleTV but it is greyed out until the user’s other devices are updated to iOS13.1 and their home app has been opened. This will likely get smoothed out in a future update because it makes no sense that the master account only add others if they have opened the Home app thereby having had a chance to just add themselves.
    edited September 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    DerekRDerekR Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Very disappointing that multi user doesn’t work with Apple Arcade. The same Game Center account is linked to all accounts. The same with photos. 
    gregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    zroger73 said:

    Why? It's unobtrusive and the sound is muted until you swipe up to watch full screen.
    1. Because it uses data which can be a concern for those without unlimited data.
    2. It's a visual distraction that I find extremely annoying.
    3. I consider it unwanted advertising which is one of the primary reasons I canceled my cable TV subscription and moved to Apple TV.

    1. Really? I was under the impression people used their wifi router or ethernet cable connected online from their ISP.

    2. Well it's supposed to enhance your content.

    3. It's not advertising. It's supposed to show your content. It isn't like Roku ads that suggest content you don't own.

    1. I suspect you're thinking i was referring to cellular-based data plans, but I wasn't. The two local cable internet providers in my area have 350 and 500 GB monthly data allowances ("caps") on their standard plans after which the subscriber is charged overage fees for blocks of additional data. One of the carriers offers unlimited data, but the plan is about twice as expensive. The other provider doesn't offer unlimited data at any price.

    2. Well, it doesn't - it annoys and distracts me.

    3. I shouldn't be forced to preview any content - including content that I already own. I know what I'm looking for or can browse through a list. With that said, it's been 12 hours since I updated my four Apple TV's to tvOS 13 and I'm not yet seeing any video previews (except when the Arcade icon is highlighted). So far, I continue to see "Top Movies" and "Top TV Shows" which contain suggestions for content that I do NOT own, have never watched, nor appear to be interested in within each respective category. I don't mind that too much since it's just static images and not video.

    Also, I didn't see any of the new underwater screensavers or an option to choose them after upgrading last night. This morning, there's still no category to select the underwater screen savers, although I did find one while manually scrolling through the "aerial" screensavers. I'm hoping as additional screensavers download, I'll be able to select only the underwater screensavers since they don't belong under the "aerial" category.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,172member

    When you're not watching

    When you're done with games or movies or TV, you should really put your Apple TV to sleep. And the new Control Center makes that straightforward, with a Sleep button right there instead of being buried in the settings menus.
    Well, there was always the option to long-press the TV button (next to the Menu button) to invoke the "Sleep" option.
    I thought the same thing.. I use this function to sleep my device every morning before I leave for work.
    watto_cobra
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