Apple today provided developers with the sixth beta of an upcoming 9.2 update to tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV and powers its built-in App Store. Today's tvOS 9.2 beta 6 update comes more than a week after Apple released the fifth beta of tvOS 9.2 and one and a half months after the release of tvOS 9.1.1, a minor update to tvOS 9.1. tvOS 9.2 has been in testing since January 11.
tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Those who have already installed the first tvOS 9.2 betas will be able to download the sixth update over the air.
tvOS 9.2 is a significant update for the tvOS operating system and new features have been added throughout the beta testing process. It brings support for Bluetooth keyboards, allowing a keyboard to be paired to the Apple TV for text entry. Bluetooth keyboard support is a major feature that was missing from previous versions of tvOS and its addition should make it much easier to do tasks like entering passwords on the fourth-generation Apple TV.
Along with Bluetooth keyboard support, the tvOS 9.2 update introduces support for grouping apps into folders on the Home screen like on iOS devices, plus it includes a new look for the App Switcher interface and it brings support for iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos. There's an update for the Apple TV Remote firmware, adding improved motion sensor performance and support for additional sound bar and receiver hardware.
Support for dictation allows Apple TV users to dictate text and spell user names and passwords rather than typing them in. Dictation capabilities are available in all countries where Siri is available on the Apple TV. With tvOS 9.2, Siri also gains the ability to search for App Store apps, improving app discovery. Siri can search for a specific app or bring up a category of apps, such as games.
tvOS 9.2 also introduces MapKit so developers can incorporate maps into their tvOS apps, and it adds Siri support for US Spanish (in the US only) and French Canadian (in Canada only). UK English, Australian English, and US English are also now available as Siri options in the UK, Australian, and US Storefronts when English is set as the tvOS language.
We'll update this post with any new features that are discovered in the sixth beta of tvOS 9.2, which may be the last beta we'll see. tvOS 9.2 is likely nearing the end of its beta testing period and could see a public release soon.