I absolutely love my Apple TV. I had the first generation model soon after it was released, then I also jumped on getting the newest fourth-gen device when it dropped (64GB if anyone’s asking) – and I have zero regrets about either one. As Apple gets ready to update operating systems across all of its devices, tvOS 11 would be expected to get a little love, right? If we’re going off the beta version that’s only used by developers, which when dealing with Apple that’s literally all we can go off of, it seems the tech giant still has quite a way to go before we see any real upgrades to the entertainment system.
With Apple’s recent announcement about adding Amazon Prime to the Apple TV, it’s honestly a wonder that we haven’t heard much else about the company taking big strides with this tvOS update. Still, that’s not to say that it won’t be worthwhile. After all, any Apple update is a good update in my book.
What’s coming in tvOS 11
In the beta version of the Apple TV operating system update, there are a few key things to check out. In true Apple fashion, the company doesn’t really mention most of the new features, so we’re kind of left to our own devices (get it?). Here’s the shortlist of features I noticed with the beta version of tvOS 11:
- Right-to-left language support. Users who speak languages that are read differently can now take advantage of this feature. It’s the little things, right?
- Background app refresh. This is something we’ve had on our iPhones and iPads since iOS 7, but better late than never. In Apple’s defense, they’ve been a bit busy adding countless other features, too. Maybe they forgot.
- Home screen sync. This allows multiple Apple TVs to “talk” to each other and sync their home screen layouts. Not super necessary, but a cool little add-on to tvOS 11.
- AirPods will automatically connect to your Apple TV via iCloud. Now whenever you turn on your Apple TV, you will be able to listen through your AirPods without having to go through the connection process. This one I personally find quite frustrating, but to each his own.
- Apple has confirmed that the fourth-gen Apple TV will be an AirPlay 2 receiver, and Vudu has already begun developing an app for the Apple TV.
It’s not the greatest list in the world, but we can definitely see some progress that opens the doors for more innovation in future updates. Still, we want more. We always want more.
Our wishlist for tvOS 11
Every time Apple releases a beta version of an update, I always put together a wishlist of features I’d like to see on the final release. This list is based on what I know the software and hardware are both capable of. Sometimes my wishes are granted (at least I like to see it that way), and sometimes I have to wait a few more updates before I see any sign of them coming to fruition. Here’s what I’d like to see in tvOS 11:
- Multitasking abilities. We already have it on the iPad, and I can’t wait to use the feature on the 10.5-inch screen when iOS 11 comes around, but why haven’t we seen this added to tvOS yet?
- User profiles. I’d like to see Apple use profiles much in the way Netflix does. With the company becoming more focused on families, it just kind of makes sense to be able to switch between content more easily.
- More core apps for Apple TV. I would personally take advantage of the News app if it were on tvOS. The iOS version supports videos, and it would be a cool feature to have on my TV whenever I wanted to use it. This would go with Apple’s all-in-one-place MO, too.
- Picture-in-picture capabilities. I’m not one to use this feature a lot, but others might. We’ve been able to use this feature since iOS 9 on our iPads, and with Apple TV’s A8 processor, there’s no way it couldn’t work.
Apple is very focused on updates across the board for all of its devices, so perhaps tvOS 11 isn’t on the priority list. That’s hard to wrap my mind around considering Apple is so focused on home entertainment right now (hello, HomePod).
Anything’s possible at this point. Maybe Apple is working on a fifth-generation model that will exceed our expectations. Or perhaps the company is going to roll out some more advanced features in the final version of tvOS 11 that we don’t know about yet. Time will tell, but I know for a fact that my fascination with my Apple TV will live on either way.