Apple today seeded the seventh beta of a new tvOS 12 operating system to developers for testing purposes, one week after releasing the sixth beta and two months after introducing the new software at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV, the tvOS 12 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV using a profile that's installed through the Xcode software. Subsequent betas can be downloaded via the software update mechanism on the Apple TV.

apple tv tvos 12
tvOS 12 introduces support for Dolby Atmos sound, which was activated in the second beta. Apple says that when tvOS 12 launches this fall, iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies. Customers that have previously purchased movies that gain Dolby Atmos support will see free upgrades to their titles, much like the rollout of 4K support.

Building on single sign-on, a new zero sign-on feature will further simplify the cable authentication process. With zero sign-on, the Apple TV can detect a user's broadband network and automatically sign them into supported apps they receive through their accompanying cable subscription.

Zero sign-on will be available for Charter Communications customers this fall and will expand to additional cable providers in the future.

Aerial screensavers now include location information and there are new screensavers captured in collaboration with the International Space Station.

tvos12aerialscreensaver
Other improvements tvOS-related improvements include AutoFill passwords from iPhone, an Apple TV Remote automatically added to Control Center on the iPhone or iPad, and Apple TV support on Home control systems like Control4, Crestron, and Savant.

tvOS 12 is available for developers and public beta testers to work out bugs and other issues ahead of a fall public launch.

Update: Apple has released a new beta of tvOS 12 for public beta testers.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
35 months ago
Plenty of love for :apple:TV... but personally hoping for long-broken bug fixes more than some slow scroll space imagery gimmicks. For example, for just a little while "quick scroll" worked well. Now it's a start & stop, start & stop, start & stop stuttering proposition. What changed? Apple went from listing content as a text list to listing content with icons... and the system seems to want to stop and load thumbnails instead of letting the "quick" in quick-scroll work fluidly. Conceptually, storing the thumbnails ON the device might solve this problem (and only loading new additions to the library), but instead, it seems to want to dynamically reload ALL of them from scratch with each use. Start, stutter, stop, start, stutter, stop. :rolleyes:

Another? Why does :apple:TV3 have a better implementation of DD5.1 pass-through audio than "4" and "5"? Answer: Because Apple decided it wants to decode the 5.1 so it can support Siri audio, then pass the audio as PCM. A simple audio pass-through toggle (which would not allow Siri to work that way) could feed those who want it to "just work" as it used to "just work" before Apple decided to "improve" it.

Another? Several generations back, if you tagged your own content using the "Show" tag in iTunes, you could bundle serialized stuff into a single line item. For example, instead of showing all Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter or James Bond movies as individual movies in the movie list, you could use the "Show" tag to tag them with those names, resulting in a single line item in the list. Click into the single entry for any of those and there it would show the individual movies. Once again, Apple decided to "improve" the experience by simply jettisoning that functionality, replacing it with nothing comparable. Result: a longer list of movies. Not terrible with quick scroll working. But all the more aggravating with start, stutter, stop, start, stutter, stop.

I have the "latest & greatest" model and it seems to regularly "forget" its link to its Mac running iTunes on the same network. None of the prior :apple:TVs have or had this problem. So the "latest & greatest" typically needs a reboot after which- without doing anything else- it can once again "see" the iTunes library. :rolleyes:

More? Of course! There's plenty of little bugs like those.

None of that means "lack of love." It's more like knowing the potential of a member of the family but watching them refuse to try to approach their very best potential. We know it can do such things (often because it used to do such things). I'd LOVE to see it do any of this new stuff well (ATMOS is certainly a whale of a new feature to roll out)... while also getting formerly great features working correctly too. Love the product... use mine every, single day... but wish it could get more love from the mothership too, not just on a few new features each year, but also the classics. We consumers have zero power to fix bugs... and it's sad to put up with them for months and months or even years and years. It's not like Apple is a tiny, struggling company with very limited resources.

But hey, show me some slow-scroll space screensavers. Who needs a Snow Leopard-type tvOS update?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JRobinsonJr Avatar
35 months ago
Plenty of love for :apple:TV... but personally hoping for long-broken bug fixes more than some slow scroll space imagery gimmicks. For example, for just a little while "quick scroll" worked well. Now it's a start & stop, start & stop, start & stop stuttering proposition. What changed? Apple went from listing content as a text list to listing content with icons... and the system seems to want to stop and load thumbnails instead of letting the "quick" in quick-scroll work fluidly. Conceptually, storing the thumbnails ON the device might solve this problem (and only loading new additions to the library), but, instead it seems to want to dynamically reload ALL of them from scratch with each use. Start, stutter, stop, start, stutter, stop. :rolleyes:

Another? Why does :apple:TV3 have a better implementation of DD5.1 pass through audio than "4" and "5"? Answer: Because Apple decided it wants to decode the 5.1 so it can support Siri audio, then pass the audio as PCM. A simple audio pass-through toggle (which would not allow Siri to work that way) could feed those who want it to "just work" as it used to "just work" before Apple decided to "improve" it.

Another? Several generations back, if you tagged your own content using the "Show" tag in iTunes, you could bundle serialized stuff into a single line item. For example, instead of showing all Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter or James Bond movies as individual movies in the movie list, you could use the "Show" tag to tag them with those names, resulting in a single line item in the list. Click into the single entry for any of those and there it would show the individual movies. Once again, Apple decided to "improve" the experience by simply jettisoning that functionality, replacing it with nothing comparable. Result: a longer list of movies. Not terrible with quick scroll working. But all the more aggravating with start, stutter, stop, start, stutter, stop.

I have the "latest & greatest" model and it seems to regularly "forget" its link to its Mac running iTunes on the same network. None of the prior :apple:TVs have or had this problem. So the "latest & greatest" typically needs a reboot after which- without doing anything else- it can once again "see" the iTunes library. :rolleyes:

More? Of course! There's plenty of little bugs like those.

None of that means "lack of love." It's more like knowing the potential of a member of the family but watching them refuse to try to approach their very best potential. We know it can do such things (often because it used to do such things). I'd LOVE to see it do any of this new stuff well (ATMOS is certainly a whale of a new feature to roll out)... while also getting formerly great features working correctly too. Love the product... use mine every, single day... but wish it could get more love from the mothership too, not just on a few new features each year, but also the classics. We consumers have zero power to fix bugs... and it's sad to put up with them for months and months or even years and years. It's not like Apple is a tiny, struggling company with very limited resources.

But hey, show me some slow-scroll space screensavers. Who needs a Snow Leopard-type tvOS update?
Amen! Love me some TV, but there are so many essentially small things that could make the whole experience so much better! You nailed a few. Here are some of my own.

1. Smaller sized movie/tv icons + disappearing sidebar: I may be alone here, but with 600+ movies in my library I find it incredibly annoying - actually... just dumb - that I can only see EIGHT FREAKIN MOVIES at a time on the screen! By aggregating serial's into a single icon (as you mentioned) plus at least giving me the option of showing more on the screen we could make it so much easier to browse the movies!

2. Combining home-based content with streaming content in the "TV" app: Surely I'm not the only one to have content that is not available on streaming but I want to watch on the TV. Yes, there's a "Home Sharing" option, but from a consumer perspective I find it silly that I have to go to multiple places to find similar content. Why not just aggregate everything into "Movies" or "TV" or "Music" or ... whatever ... and show me the list!

3. Improved meta-data management: This is really more of an iTunes thing, but from my perspective it is the most problematic on the TV, particularly with movies. Whoever does the meta-data needs to be a bit more precise. For example, the original Twilight movie (#1) is classified as a THRILLER, but the remaining movies in the series are consider ROMANCE. WTF? That makes browsing by genre frustrating at best. Apple should either (1) revamp their metadata management to resolve this, or (2) allow me to override their metadata.

As an aside, #3 would be particularly useful when combined with #2 if it allowed us to create new genre's (e.g. Home Movies, Kids Recitals, etc.) that would then be seamlessly combined with the streaming content!

4. Content Caching: you mentioned this for icons - and I find it annoying that it is not already done - but I would take this a step further. While internet access is generally available and fairly fast, as streaming transitions to 4k content the bandwidth requirements has the potential to outstrip availability. In addition, many people - particularly families with children - watch the same set of movies many times, it strikes me a silly to have to re-download the content each and every time. That's a waste of bandwidth. Were I in charge I would combine the TV and PC/Mac-based iTunes to provide a "content cache" whereby content is streamed to the TV plus stored in iTunes (based on a single download stream). Then, when that same content is played again, the TV would check with iTunes to see if it was already available and if so play it locally. This could easily continue to support content license verification. Again, were I in charge I would implement this capability - in a fully user-configurable manner - on all Apple content *plus* make it available for non-Apple content (potentially including Amazon Prime movies, Netflix, etc.).

Like you, these are not intended to beat up on the TV, but rather offer some thoughts on how it could be made better.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saipher Avatar
35 months ago
No love on this forum. Well, I for one am excited for tvOS 12. I love my Apple TV
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
35 months ago
Yes, those are some more that should be addressed.

And we're not the only ones. :apple:TV threads that survive for several days can really pile these up... again, typically not hating on the product or Apple... just fans of the product wanting it to work as good as it can, old bugs squashed, newly-introduced bugs fixed, things that used to work great resurrected, etc.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lax608 Avatar
35 months ago
I just checked, and my Kong: Skull Island has the atmos logo and my receiver decodes it as such. One thing I’m not sure has been noted is that before, on my receiver when watching iTunes movies the input is PCM and output is Dolby 5.1. With atmos, the input is atmos as is the output. My setup is a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos through a pioneer elite receiver. I tested out Kong and my initial thought was the sound is very good, not sure if it’s close to the uhd Blu-ray or not but it’s pretty good.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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