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Video conferencing added to Apple TV

Software updates will add FaceTime video calling to Apple TV 4K. Users can start a call on an iPhone, iPad or laptop and use that device's camera during the session. #pressrelease

June 4, 2023

5 Min Read

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple today announced software updates coming this fall that make Apple TV 4K even more enjoyable, interactive and fun for the whole household. With tvOS 17, FaceTime comes 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, Apple TV 4K is the best living room device. tvOS 17 is available as a developer beta today, and it will be available as a free software update this fall.

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 favorite 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. The widely popular aerial screen savers will feature a collection of stunning new locations, including Arizona's Monument Valley and California's coastal redwoods.

Additional features coming with tvOS 17 include:

  • Enhance Dialogue, which lets users more clearly hear what is being said over the effects, action and music in a movie or TV show on Apple TV 4K paired with HomePod (2nd generation) by separating the dialogue from the background noise and bringing it forward to the center channel.

  • Dolby Vision 8.1 support, which offers Apple TV 4K users a more cinematic visual experience with dynamic metadata over a broader range of movies and TV shows.

  • Apple Fitness+ enhancements, including Custom Plans, a new way for Fitness+ users to receive a custom workout or meditation schedule based on day, duration, workout type and more; Stacks, which allows users to select multiple workouts and meditations to seamlessly do back to back; and Audio Focus, which gives users the ability to prioritize the volume of the music or the trainers' voices.

  • Third-party VPN support, which enables developers to create VPN apps for Apple TV. This can benefit enterprise and education users wanting to access content on their private networks, allowing Apple TV to be a great office and conference room solution in even more places.

Availability

The tvOS developer beta is available for Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta program will be available to Apple TV users next month at beta.apple.com. tvOS 17 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. For more information, visit apple.com/tv-home. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages, or on all devices. For more information, visit apple.com/tv-home.

Read the full press release here.

Apple

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