What's New in tvOS 16 for Apple TV: Features and Enhancements

While the Apple TV was an afterthought during the WWDC 2022 keynote, there is indeed a new tvOS 16 update for all Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K models, with the first beta released to developers for testing yesterday. Below, we've rounded up several new features and enhancements coming in the software update.

apple tv 4k design triad
An overview of new tvOS 16 features for Apple TV:

  • Cross-device connectivity: Apple says tvOS 16 enables developers to integrate their Apple TV app with their iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch apps to unlock new experiences that "feel more personal than ever." For example, developers can deliver more personalized workouts on the Apple TV based on motion sensor data from the Apple Watch, display real-time information on the iPhone while a video plays in their Apple TV app, or include more screens for gameplay.
  • Expanded game controller support: Apple says many additional Bluetooth game controllers are supported on tvOS 16. Notably, this includes support for Nintendo's Joy-Cons and Pro Controller.
  • HDR10+ support has been added to the Apple TV app (Update: Apple has since removed all mentions of this feature on its website, suggesting that this feature might have been abandoned or postponed).
  • Multiuser improvements: tvOS 16 offers improved system integration for user profiles in Apple TV apps. Apple says with credentials stored in a shared keychain, users won't need to sign in and choose their profile every time they launch an Apple TV app that has been updated with this functionality.
  • Matter support: Matter is a new standard that will enable compatible smart home accessories to work together seamlessly across multiple platforms, including Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, and more. A home hub is needed to control Matter accessories in the Home app, which can be an Apple TV updated to tvOS 16 or a HomePod/HomePod mini updated to the latest software version.

Apple said the first public beta of tvOS 16 will be released in July, and the software update will be released to all users in the fall. It's likely that additional tvOS 16 features will be uncovered as beta testing continues over the next few months.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
9 months ago
HDR10+ is a biggie. Some televisions (all Samsung TVs for example) do not embrace Dolby Vision and HDR10 IS the alternative.

Anyone know if the new Continuity Camera ('https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-13-ventura-lets-you-use-your-iphones-camera-as-a-webcam.2346934/') is available in tvOS 16? It seems like a natural since so many seem to want an easy way to FaceTime on the main TV. It's wireless and works with a simple, universal clip (by Belkin) with any monitor... so why not buy 2 clips and put one of them on the big TV? It seems like a big (niche) opportunity that perfectly fits all AppleTV setups (whether tucked behind the TV or off to the side or in a cabinet, etc where a built-in camera would not work well at all).

When Apple announced it, I actually thought of using it THIS way FIRST... even above the demoed use of making any computer monitor work with FaceTime. If any monitor, why not a TV "monitor?" Seems like a natural for AppleTV to me.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
9 months ago

Pretty weak, Apple. Have they just given up on this device now that most smart TV’s offer the Apple TV+ App?
Many people don't want their "Smart" TV having a direct connection to the internet.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Juicy Box Avatar
9 months ago

Just out of genuine curiosity, since I hardly use my Apple TV, what more could you want?

This is where I am at, not sure what people are looking for, the only thing I could think of is maybe more homekit stuff...
I posted this on another thread:

Home automation
Adding a Safari Browser
Announcing bigger commitment to gaming
Bundled Apple Controller
Landscape FaceTime
FaceTime integration with an iPhone or other Apple device, or add-on camera
Announce larger storage options
Easy connection to Hotels' Wifi feature (a web browser would work as well if there was one)
Choose what Aerials are shown
Allow for instant downloads of chosen Aerials
Better storage management and being able to see what the static storage space is taken
VPN support

Other people responded with some of their own, such as audio passthrough, a section showing apps that need to be updated, like iOS has for people that do not update automatically, and some others that I cannot remember at the moment.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gator5000e Avatar
9 months ago
I use my Apple TV to well, watch TV. It does a great job of that for me. The picture quality is great on my 4K TV and the sound is also via my 5.0 receiver set up. HDR10+ will be a nice addition even though I think Dolby Vision is more widespread. I would like to see Apple add a Sports central section where you can see live scores and live games and maybe even standings and sports headlines the such in one place. They are doing it in iOS 16 to some degree. Maybe it wills how up on the ATV.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mogga71 Avatar
9 months ago

Sounds like you are good. AppleTV supports 24bit/48khz.


I guess you could hope for some even higher res, but that seems arbitrary.
If you use your AppleTV as your main video playing device (using Plex or the even better Infuse app probably) then what we want most of all is for the AppleTV to play Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA :

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA are lossless audio formats that provide greater depth and dynamic range when compared to normal Dolby (AC3) and DTS audio.

Apple only supports the AC3 compressed variants. There is a big difference in sound quality between the 2 ... trust me. Its basically the difference between playing an Atmos Bluray and its Apple streaming variant (Eg. Lord Of The Rings). The 4k picture quality is very close indeed ... its the Atmos soundtracks that make the difference. However, the size of these can be really large and is probably the reason they are not supported on AppleTV or most of the streaming boxes.

Firecore ... the makers of Infuse have been trying to get Apple to include the uncompressed versions for.a while now.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThisBougieLife Avatar
9 months ago
Wish the Apple TV would support hi-res audio, but I guess that will require new hardware.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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