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Apple almost forgot tvOS 15, but here everything is new

Under the WWDC21 headphones, Apple introduced the new iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey and watchOS 8, but it never actually mentioned tvOS 15 by name. Despite the lack of focus on tvOS 15 during the event, new features will come to Apple TV later this year.

Last week for 9to5Mac, I wrote about a future where tvOS would be renamed homeOS. There were some reasons to believe that would happen: Apple almost never gives time on stage to talk about Apple TV and HomePod software, and a mysterious “homeOS” job was found just before WWDC21.

Regardless of my conclusion about this transition from tvOS to homeOS, what Apple did in WWDC21

was almost to leave the Apple TV software. For example, the company focused a lot on the home ecosystem, but not properly on tvOS. It’s almost as if Apple forgot that it had just updated the Apple TV 4K hardware last month.

During the keynote, I commented with my colleagues that the Spatial Audio feature that came with the new Apple TV was almost everything we were supposed to hear about tvOS 15 – and unfortunately I was right.

It was less than a minute, and only at the end of the main test did we know that tvOS would be around another year. In fact, we had to wait until the Apple Developer website came back live to discover that this software would actually be called tvOS 15.

What happened to tvOS 15? What’s new with that?

WWDC 2021 announcements

After a main feature, Apple usually has more in-depth written information about the announcements. The company published several articles about all software updates on the Apple Newsroom, but none for tvOS. On the official website there is a preview of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey and watchOS 8.

I could not find any specific preview or promotional image for tvOS 15. Only this morning I found out where the new features were: under “Coming this fall” on the new Apple TV 4K page.

Anyway, here are the seven features that will hopefully come to tvOS 15 this fall, according to Apple’s website:

  • SharePlay: Watch movies or series while in FaceTime conversation on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, then add Apple TV to share your viewing experience on the big screen.
  • For all of you: Browse a new row in the Apple TV app to find something that everyone in the house can not wait to watch.
  • Shared with you: Movies and shows shared through Messages appear in a new row in the Apple TV app.
  • Spatial sound: Listen with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max for a theater-like experience with sound that surrounds you.
  • Smart AirPods Routing: Get an on-screen automatic alert to magically connect AirPods.
  • HomeKit camera enhancements: Watch multiple cameras around the house at the same time on Apple TV.
  • Room-filled stereo sound: Pair two HomePod mini speakers with Apple TV 4K and enjoy rich, balanced sound for everything you watch.

What do you think will be the future of tvOS and tvOS 15? Tell us in the comments section below.

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