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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Apple updates tvOS with Home support and picture-in-picture

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Apple has announced a variety of new features for its tvOS platform, adding better support for Apple’s HomeKit accessories, a new picture-in-picture mode, and support for Microsoft’s Elite 2 and Adaptive Xbox One controllers.

tvOS will also allow for direct control of HomeKit accessories through a new Control Center UI, which looks similar to the menu found on iOS and iPadOS. As part of that new UI, Apple is also offering multi-user support for the Apple TV, although the company has only said that it’ll be used for resuming gameplay on Apple Arcade games for now.

There are also smaller updates, too, like better audio sharing with AirPod headphones, and support for up to 4K video streaming from the Photos app on iOS devices.

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Many of the new Home and HomeKit improvements aren’t being limited to just the Apple TV, though. Facial recognition is being added to compatible HomeKit security cameras, and will announced contacts that are recognized through a linked HomePod speaker. The Home app now supports smart lights with different color temperature options, and can adjust them to match the ambient light during the day over time. There are also new Control Center options that makes it even easier to activate specific devices directly from Control Center, instead of requiring users to dig into a menu.

The HomePod — which runs on tvOS — is also getting a major update: support for third-party music services, although Apple hasn’t said which services will get it.

Developing… we’re adding more to this post, but you can follow along with our WWDC 2020 live blog to get the news even faster.

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