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tvOS 14: All new features for the Apple TV 4K

All the new features that make it to the Apple TV 4K via tvOS 14

Apple improves the Apple TV 4K with the tvOS14 update. Countless new features such as picture-in-picture, multi-user support for games or extended controller support make the 4K streaming player even better!

With tvOS 14, Apple is once again delivering countless new functions to its 4K streaming player for free. Especially users who use the Apple TV 4K as a gaming platform, e.g. in combination with the Apple Arcade subscription (which will also be available soon in the “Apple One” multi-subscription package) you will certainly enjoy the latest “upgrade”. Then let’s jump right into the highlights of the new tvOS14 SDK:

Multi-user support for games:

Nothing is more annoying than coming home from work to find that one of the kids has once again “gambled to death” their own character in Oceanhorn 2. These problems should finally be a thing of the past with multi-user support for games. Now you can dynamically switch back and forth between several accounts in order to call up the respective individual progress, highscore or game title via the Game Center and iCloud. So every gamer gets his own individual gaming experience.

Extended controller support

As promised at the Apple Arcade presentation at the time, you will be able to access Apple’s games with a “multitude of controllers”. The Cupertino-based company keeps its promise and with tvOS14 provides additional support for many Playstation and Xbox controllers, including the popular Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and the Xbox Adaptive Controller. And not only that, touchpads, keyboards and mice should also be usable – if supported by the game. Controller-specific information and features such as the battery status, haptic effects (rumble) or lights can also be incorporated into games by the developers.

AirPlay streaming in 4K

The Apple iPhones and iPads have mastered video recordings in 4K resolution for several generations. Unfortunately, the 4K videos could only be played on the devices themselves, or the native 4K video files had to be played laboriously on external storage devices to e.g. to be able to reproduce on a UHD monitor or television. With the new iOS 14 and tvOS 14, it is now possible to stream videos recorded in 4K resolution directly via AirPlay 2 to the Apple TV 4K with native 3840 x 2160 resolution!

Audio sharing for headphones (AirPods)

You want to enjoy an effective cinema blockbuster, but “the little ones” are already sleeping? With the new audio sharing feature, audio streams from Apple TV 4K can be shared with multiple compatible headphones (H1 chip) such as the Apple AirPods are transferred. A great feature, which counteracts the daily quarrel with the noise-sensitive neighbors.

Screensavers divided into topics

The screen savers shot in 4K resolution are definitely a reason not to use the Apple TV 4K for a few minutes. If you prefer one or more specific topics for the screen savers, you can now use the settings to specify that only these are shown. The user can currently choose between “Landscapes”, “Earth”, “Underwater” and “City”.

Extended HomeKit support (+ cameras)

HomeKit on the Apple TV 4K already worked in the previous releases of tvOS14. With the latest version, however, the functions are significantly expanded. So far, the Apple TV in the HomeKit universe has only served as a “home hub” to reach your smart devices outside of the home network. With the new Control Center, there is now, for the first time, a dedicated control system for all home devices, as is known from the iPhone or iPad. Devices can be activated / deactivated with it, individually adapted scenarios (party, film, dinner, etc.) cause all connected devices to do what has been preset and you can even view live feeds from cameras via the Home Center.

Picture-in-picture mode

In the lockdown, many people have certainly kept themselves fit with fitness videos on Youtube & Co. But always watching this annoying music and then watching the models doing the exercises? It may not have always been fun, especially if you repeated the exercises a lot. With the new Picture-in-picture feature two contents can now be displayed in parallel. Apple referred here e.g. to the new Fitnes + application, which could be displayed parallel to a TV lifestream. Or follow your favorite team on DAZN while you are playing something on Apple Arcade. As the saying goes, the possibilities are “endless”!

So far no YouTube in 4K

4K streaming on Youtube still does not work on the Apple TV 4K. In the pre-release beta of tvOS 14 this worked without any problems. Google has already published an official statement on this problem: “Sorry for the back and forth – we just want to inform you quickly that the Apple TV 4K will soon support 4K playback in 4K”. Another problem arose with iPhone customers. Google apparently only allows premium customers of the YouTube service to play videos in picture-in-picture mode. The picture-in-picture feature (with YouTube) still works normally on the iPad and other platforms.

No “kids fashion”

Much has been said about the tvOS14 update in advance. A “kids mode” should be integrated with tvOS 14. This was almost certainly true. However, Apple doesn’t seem to have made it in time, so content control for children may not be integrated until tvOS 15. The “Kids Mode” would have controlled what the children see (no brutal or pornographic content) and the Screen Time option could have set how long the children could spend on their Apple devices. The integration across all devices may not have worked so well.

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