Apple Releases tvOS 14.5 With New Color Balance Feature, Expanded Controller Support
Apple today released tvOS 14.5, the fifth update to the tvOS 14 operating system that was released in September 2020. tvOS 14.5 comes three months after the release of tvOS 14.4.
tvOS 14.5, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates enabled will be upgraded to tvOS 14.5 automatically.
With the introduction of the second-generation Apple TV 4K, Apple announced a new Color Balance feature, which also happens to be available for existing Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models. Available by opening up the Settings app on Apple TV, selecting Video and Audio, and clicking on "Color Balance" in the Calibration section, the new feature uses the iPhone's front facing camera to match the color shown on the Apple TV with industry standard specifications used by cinematographers.
With this data, Apple TV tailors video output to deliver more accurate colors and improved contrast with no need to adjust television settings. Color balance is available on all Apple TV models that run tvOS, and it can be used with tvOS 14.5 and iOS 14.5. Note that it does not work when Dolby Vision is enabled, and an iPhone with Face ID is required.
Other new features include frame rate options of 29.97Hz and 59.94Hz instead of 30Hz/60Hz, an optional "Type to Siri" Accessibility feature that can be enabled, which mirrors the Type to Siri feature on iOS devices, a new option for choosing "Other Wireless Speakers" as the Default Audio Output, and tweaks to the Podcasts app to bring it in line with the changes introduced in iOS 14.5.
The release of tvOS will see Apple begin enforcing its new App Tracking Transparency rules, with developers now required to ask for and receive a user's permission to access their random advertising identifier (known as the IDFA) to track user activity across apps and websites for ad customization purposes.
Going forward, when an app wants to access a person's advertising identifier on tvOS, users will have a prompt with options to "Allow Tracking" or "Ask App Not to Track." Selecting "Ask App Not to Track" will prevent the app's developer from accessing the user's IDFA, and developers will also have to respect the user's tracking preference and refrain from using other invasive cross-app tracking methods.
With the update, customers in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand will also be able to use the Siri remote with their voice thanks to expanded access.
The main tvOS 14 update released in September brought expanded Picture in Picture support, new HomeKit integration with HomeKit Secure Video cameras, support for multiple Apple Arcade profiles, and more, with details available in our tvOS 14 roundup.