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tvOS 13 Roundup

Jacob Bullock

We had high expectations this year for WWDC, and as we have been discussing, Apple did not disappoint. We are still catching up on WWDC sessions and continually amazed at all that was announced. We’ve been living dangerously and risking our primary Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, and Mac computers to play with all the latest and greatest.

We didn’t expect Apple to announce much around tvOS this year, but they surprised us with some really fantastic updates for tvOS 13. Here is a peak of what is coming to Apple TV this fall.

The biggest announcement was multi-user support. This has been a long awaited feature on Apple TV and a sign that we might start seeing better multi-user support across other devices soon (looking at you, iPadOS). With this feature, each user logged in to the Apple TV will get an experience more curated to their particular interests and tastes, as well as their own preferences and playlists in Apple Music.

Speaking of Apple Music, karaoke fans are in for a treat; tvOS 13 will show lyrics scrolling in sync with the music. It’s a relatively small change, but a huge improvement over plain album art.

Another simple, but fun update is that tvOS will add new HDR motion wallpapers showing off the beautiful oceanic world most of us don’t get to see everyday. While I have really enjoyed seeing these breathtaking flyovers of distant cities, there is no shortage of man-made marvels obscuring nature all around us on a daily basis. I look forward to the deep dive Apple is taking to bring this rarely seen world to us.

Lastly, to help support Apple Arcade+, tvOS will be adding support for two of the most popular gamepads: the Xbox One S and the Playstation 4 DualShock controllers. To date, gaming has been a somewhat frustrating experience on Apple TV. The remote has been painful to use for games. Apple TV does have support for some great MFi controllers, such as the Nimbus series, but it can be frustrating to buy controllers solely for the Apple TV when it has struggled to mature as a gaming platform. Streaming boxes have struggled to compete in the gaming business in general and Apple has been no exception. They have not been able sell the Apple TV as a credible competitive gaming console. Last September, Minecraft was removed from the Apple TV due to lack of interest from the players. Apple is looking to change all of that with Arcade+ and adding support for these gamepads is a big step in the right direction for Apple TV.

As you can see Apple continues to push things forward with Apple TV and tvOS. They are clearly trying to create a more consistent experience across all of their devices that draw users deeper into the Apple ecosystem. I look forward to seeing all that Apple has in store for Apple TV this fall.

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