Apple Releases tvOS 10, Bringing a Range of Enhancements and New Features to the Fourth-Generation Apple TV

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released tvOS 10 for the fourth-generation Apple TV, proudly claimingl that with this release the “Apple TV keeps getting better and better”:

With the tvOS update, Apple Music has been totally redesigned. A new Remote app lets you control your Apple TV with your iPhone. You’ll even be able to adjust the house lights and thermostat straight from your TV.

The New Features That We Think You Will Like

Single Sign-On

Cable and satellite TV subscribers should find that tvOS 10 significantly reduces the number of times when you will be asked to enter your username and password:

Now when you enter your cable or satellite subscription credentials on Apple TV, you get immediate access to all the apps in your pay TV package that support single sign-on. So you authenticate once and you’re done. Cue the applause sign.

Siri Has Gotten Smarter

Improvements to Siri in tvOS 10 should help to make it easier and faster to get to the content that you want:

Have a good idea of what you want to watch? With the new tvOS, Siri not only lets you search for a specific topic, it allows you to combine multiple criteria in the same search. For example, ask Siri to “Show me movies about time travel”.

tvOS 10 also offers the option to search YouTube via Siri. For example, asking Siri "find me YouTube videos with cats” will launch the YouTube app and show the relevant search results.

Other Changes in tvOS 10

  • Choose between a light or dark background for the tvOS interface.
  • A new Memories feature automatically finds and displays photos and videos from your iCloud Photo Library which you haven’t viewed or thought about for a while.
  • Apple Music has gained a new look and some new features to make the user experience more consistent with that on iOS and macOS.
  • You can now control your HomeKit-enabled devices right from your Apple TV.
  • Automatic App Downloads mean that when you download a universal app to your iOS device, it automatically downloads to your Apple TV.

For a more complete list of what’s new in tvOS 10, MacRumors offers a good overview.

And What About Accessibility?

  • For VoiceOver users, High Quality voices; a pronunciation editor; and support for audio routing are now available.
  • A number of new color filters are available to assist users with color blindness and other vision challenges.
  • The Apple TV now has Switch Control support for users with physical motor limitations. This includes the ability to control other connected Apple devices from an Apple TV.

We’ve not been able to test tvOS 10 prior to today’s release of the final version, so have not yet been able to explore these new features or check for any further changes which will effect blind or low vision users. We will update this post with anything else that we learn. To help with this, please add a comment below to let us know of any changes, improvements or regressions that you find during your own use of tvOS 10.

How to Update to tvOS 10

To install tvOS 10 on a fourth-generation Apple TV, go to the Settings channel, then look for the System section near the bottom. From here, look for Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install.

More information on how to update the software on your Apple TV is available on this Apple Support page.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this update.

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Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Is there finally a way to adjust the Voiceover volume so that it doesn't completely overshadow the volume of the content you are listening to on the AppleTV? Thanks.

Submitted by tate on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

For some reason single sign-on. Is not in the first release of tv-OS 10.0. If it is, I can't find it.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

there is a new volume rotor, but you have to enable it. there is also a "hint" rotor, but i don't know what it does, it certainly doesn't turn hint on or off. there is also a mysterious language rotor, but you can't select multiple languages on an apple tv, so i don't know what it does, either. anyone know?

Submitted by Kim Loftis on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I discovered a huge problem, which a colleague has also confirmed. Ask Siri what the weather or temperature is. No answer, or an inane one, IE, "I missed that." I turned location services off and on, turned Siri off and on, restarted the Apple TV, checked my network settings. I can't resolve it. Carrot Weather, however, works fine. :( Not happy.

Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I've also noticed the Siri issue. Another problem is when you press play to sample the new voices both your voiceover voice and the voice you're sampling will speak at the same time. For example "Hello my name is Fred." comes from both Fred and your current voice.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I downloaded Alex last night for the AppleTV. I also enabled volume on the Voiceover roter. However, if you restart Voiceover, the volume defaults back to what it originally was. IT will not keep the level you set it at.

Submitted by Hubert on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I'm not sure what's going on here, but for some reason, yes, you can get compact voices, but where do you find high quality voices, because in the voices option, for example only Samantha default is displayed, but it doesn't seem to be possible to download enhanced quality voices? Can anyone help with this?