tvOS – Everything you need to know

tvOS is the operating system of the 4th generation Apple TV, which was announced by Apple in September 2015. With the introduction of tvOS it is possible to install apps and games on the Apple TV. The first version of tvOS is based on iOS 9, making porting many iPhone and iPad apps relatively easy for tvOS. You can read all about the possibilities of tvOS in this article.

Availability tvOS

tvOS is available for the 4th generation Apple TV. This operating system is preinstalled on this Apple TV, so you do not need to upgrade. You can not install tvOS on older Apple TVs (3rd generation and earlier).

tvOS based on iOS 9

Apple released the first version of tvOS largely based on iOS 9, the latest version of iOS. This is reflected in a number of ways. For example, the design of tvOS is layered, so some parts seem to float over the background.

By using iOS 9 as the basis for tvOS, the Apple TV has also adopted many features of the iPhone and iPad. The Apple TV can receive notifications that look the same. Are you playing a game? Then you can use the same gamepads who previously worked on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Developers have tvOS access to iOS features like Game Center, CloudKit and more.


 

Apps and games for tvOS

Developers can thanks to tvOS finally develop apps and games for the Apple TV. This process is the same as on the iPhone and iPad, the developer must submit the app to Apple for approval. Apple TV apps can be universal, meaning you can install an app after purchasing it on an iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Apple TV apps

An app for the Apple TV can be up to 200MB in size. If the developers want to use more data, then it will be loaded from iCloud. This way, Apple is developing great apps as possible, without users consuming a lot of local storage.

tvOS with Siri support

Apple TV Siri
Apple TV with Siri support.

It is possible to search tvOS with Siri, but it will take a while until we everyone can make use of it. At the moment, the Siri feature of tvOS is only usable in a few countries, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In countries where Siri on the Apple TV is supported, you can give commands via the remote control. It is thus possible to speak natural queries, such as “looking for the James Bond movies with Sean Connery.” It is also possible to operate Siri tvOS while playing videos. For example, Siri can pause a video, rewind or turn on subtitles. In countries where Siri for Apple TV is not yet available, you can manually type in the search.