Apple Reveals tvOS 12 With Dolby Atmos Support for Apple TV 4K, Aerial Screensaver Updates, and More
Apple today announced tvOS 12, which will introduce support for Dolby Atmos surround sound technology in the Apple TV 4K. When the update appears later in the year, iTunes will automatically update compatible movies with Dolby Atmos support for free.
With the addition of Dolby Atmos, Apple said that this makes the Apple TV 4K the only streaming box with support for both 4K and Atmos. Additionally, iTunes will become the "home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere" after the update.
Apple also reiterated the Apple TV as a game-changer for the television market, announcing that cable company Charter Communications will begin offering the Apple TV 4K to its customers this year (in a similar vein to promotions from DirecTV Now). Secondly, customers will have access to live channels and thousands of on-demand programs through a new Spectrum TV app on tvOS and iOS.
Apple is upgrading Single sign-on for Apple TV and iOS with "zero sign-on," wherein the Apple TV detects the user's broadband network and automatically signs them in to "all the supported apps they receive through their subscription - no typing required." Zero sign-on support will launch with Charter in 2018 and roll out to other providers "over time."
The company is also upgrading Aerial screensavers in tvOS 12 with new Earth footage captured in collaboration with the International Space Station National Lab and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. The screensavers have been taken by NASA astronauts and filmed in 4K HDR, and all Apple TV Aerial screensavers will now be more interactive with location information and swipe-to-change features through the Siri Remote.
A few other tvOS 12 updates include:
- With iOS 12, users can securely AutoFill passwords from iPhone and iPad to Apple TV to easily sign in to Apple TV apps.
- The Apple TV Remote will be automatically added to Control Center on iPhone or iPad for Apple TV users, giving users quick access to Apple TV controls.
- Home control systems like Control4, Crestron and Savant can be used to control Apple TV, including using Siri for voice search and control.
tvOS 12 will launch for all users as a free software update for the 4th generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K in fall 2018.