Today, Apple announced multiple changes and updates to some of its home and audio-related products.
For starters, tvOS 17 comes with changes to the Control Center that gives users easier access to controls like audio sources, changing profiles, view HomeKit-enabled cameras, and it displays the time.
The biggest addition in tvOS 17 will be the addition of FaceTime on the Apple TV. Users can start a call from either the Apple TV, with the camera from their iPhone or iPad via Continuity Camera, What users can do with this too is they can display their iPhone or iPad next to their TV and on their entertainment center, and then sit pack on a sofa or couch and have their FaceTime call, and giving the people in the call a full view of you and the room your in.
Other apps such as Zoom and Cisco will be added to the tvOS App Store later this year so users can do calls on the Apple TV too.
According to Apple, “Developers can take advantage of Continuity Camera APIs on Apple TV 4K to integrate the iPhone or iPad camera and microphone into their tvOS app, and create new shared and immersive entertainment experiences for the living room.”
There were some additions to Apple Music Sing as well and will enable users to set their Continuity Camera and place it near the TV so they can sing in front of their Apple TV with lyrics showing up on the screen and the users can see themselves in the background, with the option to add filters.
Apple even went as far as to update the Siri Remote so users can unlock their iPhone and use it to track the location of their Siri Remote (second generation or newer) if they misplace it. When users get closer to their Siri Remote, a circle on the screen grows.
Screensavers on the Apple TV have been enhanced with users having the option to view their memorable photos from their iPhone and other Apple devices with smooth animations when transitioning between photos.
There are new aerial screensavers that include new locations like Monument Valley in Arizona and the coastal redwoods in California.
Here are other updates coming in tvOS 17:
- Enhance Dialogue, which lets users more clearly hear what is being said over the effects, action, and music in a movie or TV show on Apple TV 4K paired with HomePod (2nd generation) by separating the dialogue from the background noise and bringing it forward to the center channel.
- Dolby Vision 8.1 support, which offers Apple TV 4K users a more cinematic visual experience with dynamic metadata over a broader range of movies and TV shows.
- Apple Fitness+ enhancements, including Custom Plans, a new way for Fitness+ users to receive a custom workout or meditation schedule based on day, duration, workout type, and more; Stacks, which allows users to select multiple workouts and meditations to seamlessly do back to back; and Audio Focus, which gives users the ability to prioritize the volume of the music or the trainers’ voices.
- Third-party VPN support, which enables developers to create VPN apps for Apple TV. This can benefit enterprise and education users wanting to access content on their private networks, allowing Apple TV to be a great office and conference room solution in even more places.
Those new features listed above will be available once tvOS 17 is released this fall, which will be compatible on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
On top of updates coming to the Apple TV, there are changes coming for AirPods.
The biggest feature coming to AirPods this fall will be Adaptive Audio. Apple describes this as “a new listening mode that dynamically blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation together based on the conditions of a user’s environment to deliver the best experience in the moment. This new listening mode will seamlessly tailor the noise control experience while users move between environments and interactions that are constantly changing throughout the day.”
Personalized Volume is another new feature coming to AirPods which uses machine learning to get a better understanding of the atmosphere around you and changing and adapting the audio to better suit your ears and what is around you.
AirPods will also use Conversation Awareness which essentially means that if you are (say) taking a walk and you bump into someone you know, Conversation Awareness will activate and lower the volume of your AirPods so you can hear and listen to what the other person is saying.
There are new features on AirPods that gives users the ability to mute and unmute themselves directly from the AirPods.
All of those new features for AirPods are said to only be on the AirPods third generation, AirPods Pro first and second generation, and AirPods Max. The features are expected to be released sometime this fall too.