Apple today previewed tvOS 12, the new operating system for 4K Apple TV, which brings support for Dolby Atmos audio and new features to access the shows.
Apple TV 4K was released last fall, offering a large collection of 4K HDR movies, including free 4K HDR upgrades to previously purchased movies in customers' iTunes libraries. This fall, iTunes will be home to a collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere, and these titles will also include Dolby Atmos audio for free.
Apple today announced that Charter Communications, the second-largest cable operator in the US, will begin offering Apple TV 4K to their customers. Later this year, consumers in nearly 50 million households will have access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programs via an all-new Spectrum TV app on their Apple TV 4K, iPhone and iPad, integrated with Siri and the Apple TV App. Charter will also be offering iPhone and iPad to its customers as they grow their mobile presence. Charter joins AT&T's DirecTV Now in the US, CANAL+ in France and Salt in Switzerland, which have begun offering their customers Apple TV 4K with their services.
The Apple TV App on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV allows users to find and watch TV shows and movies from more than 100 participating video apps in 10 countries. Single sign-on for Apple TV and iOS has allowed users to sign in once to get access to all the video apps available through their cable subscription. With tvOS 12, Apple further simplifies the authentication process with zero sign-on. Apple TV simply detects the user's broadband network and automatically signs them in to all the supported apps they receive through their subscription. Zero sign-on begins with Charter later this year and will expand to other providers over time.
Apple, in collaboration with the International Space Station National Lab and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, unveiled new aerials shot from space by NASA astronauts, so Apple TV owners can enjoy scenes filmed in 4K HDR. Aerial screensavers will also be more interactive, allowing viewers to see the location information and swipe between dozens of beautiful aerials.
Additional tvOS 12 features for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation 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 Control, Crestron and Savant can be used to control Apple TV, including using Siri for voice search and control.
The tvOS developer preview is available for Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. The new tvOS will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation.