Apple TV’s operating system, tvOS, isn’t as frequently updated as its siblings, iOS and macOS. However, 2023 marks a significant shift. Apple introduces tvOS 17, packing a host of innovative features that revamp the set-top box experience.

FaceTime, Continuity Camera & Reactions Debut

Owners with the Apple TV 4K (second generation or newer) and tvOS 17 can now enjoy FaceTime. The integration of the Continuity Camera enables users to harness their iPhone or iPad as an exclusive webcam for the Apple TV. Additionally, tvOS 17 extends comprehensive support for the Continuity Camera API, ensuring seamless video integration across apps. Notably, video conferencing giants Cisco WebEx and Zoom are expected to hit the platform by year’s end.

Reactions bring a dynamic flair to video interactions. These gesture-activated video effects, while not extensively detailed by Apple, showcased fun triggers like a thumbs-up initiating a bubble effect, or two thumbs-up igniting a full-screen firework backdrop.

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Revamped Control Center

The Control Center gets a substantial facelift. It constantly displays critical system data at the top right of the main interface. This includes the current time, connected AirPods status, ongoing music, and the active user profile. Activating it is as simple as pressing the TV button.

Enhancements to the Control Center incorporate controls like a power button, Wi-Fi access, a Do Not Disturb mode, Spotlight search, and AirPlay output alternatives. Moreover, new controls have been added for game controllers, accessibility settings, restrictions, and a sleep mode with varied time settings.

Apple Fitness Plus Leaps Forward

Apple’s FitnessPlus, with tvOS 17, becomes even more user-centric. The new Audio Focus feature lets users balance between a coach’s motivational guidance and ambient music during workouts. Located within the video’s audio menu, this ensures a tailored exercise session.

Stacks, another critical addition, allow users to cue consecutive workouts without the need to manually select each one post-completion.

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Additional Tweaks in tvOS 17

Privacy and security enthusiasts can rejoice as Apple TV now supports VPN setups directly. This offers enhanced data protection and the bonus of adjusting the “location” for sidestepping geo-restrictions, especially during live sports.

Misplaced your remote? The iOS 17’s Control Center integrates a Remote app that lets you track your device nearby using Bluetooth signals, making the hunt a tad easier.

Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews and guides on navigating the revamped tvOS 17 experience.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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