tvOS 17 Unveiled: FaceTime and Video Conferencing on Apple TV 4K

tvOS 17 Unveiled: FaceTime and Video Conferencing on Apple TV 4K

Apple has exciting news for Apple TV 4K users. In the upcoming software update, tvOS 17, Apple is introducing new features that will enhance the entertainment experience and make the device even more interactive and enjoyable for the entire family.

One of the most significant additions is the integration of FaceTime, allowing users to engage in immersive video conversations with their loved ones on the big screen.

For the first time ever, Apple TV 4K users can now enjoy FaceTime on their television, creating a more engaging and inclusive environment for connecting with family and friends. The introduction of an all-new Control Center and other enhancements further enhance the personalized experience, seamlessly integrating with iPhone functionalities. With Apple TV 4K, users have access to a vast array of entertainment options, including movies, shows, music, games, fitness programs, and now video calls.

Powered by the A15 Bionic chip, Apple TV 4K delivers outstanding performance, intuitive controls, and seamless compatibility with other Apple devices and smart home accessories. It serves as the ultimate living room device, providing cinematic picture and audio quality, as well as access to popular streaming apps like Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Arcade. The software update, tvOS 17, is currently available as a developer beta and will be released as a free software update this fall.

Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, expressed excitement about the new features: “tvOS 17 transforms the biggest screen in the home with FaceTime and new video conferencing capabilities, giving Apple TV 4K users the ability to easily connect with anyone right from their living room. New features and enhancements make Apple TV simpler to use and even more enjoyable, reinforcing it as the absolute best option in the living room for Apple customers.”

Starting this fall, Apple TV 4K users can take advantage of the new FaceTime app on their device. Calls can be initiated directly from Apple TV, or users can start calls on their iPhone or iPad and seamlessly transfer them to the television screen. Continuity Camera support enables wireless connection to the user’s iPhone or iPad, utilizing the device’s camera and microphone to bring participants together on the TV. The innovative Center Stage feature ensures that everyone in the room remains perfectly framed on the screen, even while moving around. Additionally, callers can use gesture-based reactions, such as generating onscreen effects like hearts or fireworks, to add an extra element of fun to their conversations. With Split View, users can enjoy watching shows or movies during a SharePlay session while simultaneously seeing everyone on the FaceTime call.

To preserve privacy on communal devices, notifications appear on the TV screen when another FaceTime or phone call comes in during a session, without revealing the caller’s identity. Furthermore, later this year, popular video conferencing apps like Webex by Cisco and Zoom will launch on tvOS, further expanding communication capabilities on Apple TV 4K. Developers can leverage Continuity Camera APIs to integrate iPhone or iPad cameras and microphones into their tvOS apps, offering new shared and immersive entertainment experiences in the living room.

Continuity Camera also plays a role in Apple Music Sing, a feature that allows users to sing along to their favorite tracks. By integrating Continuity Camera, users can see themselves onscreen and add entertaining filters to enhance the singing experience.

In addition to FaceTime and video conferencing capabilities, tvOS 17 brings a more personalized experience, especially when paired with an iPhone. The new Control Center on Apple TV provides easy access to key settings and information throughout the entire Apple TV experience. It displays system status, including the time and active profile, and expands to offer additional details based on user activity.

The integration between Apple TV and iPhone is further strengthened in tvOS 17. Users can now locate their Siri Remote by launching the Apple TV remote inside Control Center on their iPhone. As users get closer to the remote, an onscreen circle guides their movement. When using the remote on iPhone to wake up and control Apple TV, users will be automatically switched to their profile, ensuring access to recently watched shows and personalized recommendations. Each user profile saves individual settings and preferences, including system language and paired AirPods, providing an even more tailored experience.

Screen savers receive enhancements in tvOS 17, allowing users to enjoy curated Memories from their personal or shared libraries on the big screen. Additionally, the popular aerial screen savers will showcase stunning new locations, such as Arizona’s Monument Valley and California’s coastal redwoods.

Other notable features coming with tvOS 17 include Enhance Dialogue, which emphasizes clear dialogue over background noise in movies and TV shows when paired with HomePod (2nd generation). Dolby Vision 8.1 support offers Apple TV 4K users a more immersive cinematic visual experience with dynamic metadata across a wider range of content. Apple Fitness+ also receives enhancements, including Custom Plans, Stacks, and Audio Focus, providing users with a more customized workout and meditation experience.

Furthermore, tvOS 17 introduces third-party VPN support, enabling the creation of VPN apps for Apple TV. This benefits enterprise and education users who wish to access content on their private networks, making Apple TV an ideal solution for office and conference room settings.

The tvOS developer beta is now available for Apple Developer Program members, and a public beta program will launch next month for Apple TV users at Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD owners can expect tvOS 17 to arrive as a free software update this fall. For more information, visit Keep in mind that features are subject to change, and some may not be available in all regions or languages, or on all devices.

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