Apple Releases tvOS 15; Bringing Enhancements for AirPod and HomePod Users, a Shared With You Section, and More

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released tvOS 15, bringing what at best can be described as small, incremental changes for the Apple TV.

Apple shared little about tvOS 15 when it was first announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June and nothing in its recent California Streaming event, whilst MacRumors has reported only a small number of new features or changes being shared by Apple or discovered during the beta cycle:

A Shared With You section (...) displays movies and shows that were shared with you through the Messages app so you remember to check them out. When paired with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, the ‌Apple TV‌ supports Spatial audio for a theater-like surround sound experience, and there's a new feature for automatically connecting your AirPods through Smart ‌AirPods‌ routing.

Hey Siri commands can be used to launch Apple TV+ shows, and two HomePod mini speakers can be paired with the ‌Apple TV‌ 4K for stereo sound. If you have HomeKit cameras, you can also now view multiple cameras at the same time on the ‌Apple TV‌.

We have not been able to test tvOS 15 ahead of its public release, so have not yet been able to explore its new features or check for any changes which will affect blind or low vision users.

We will update this post if anything of note is discovered or shared. To this end, please add a comment below to let us know of any additional changes, improvements or regressions that you find during your own use of tvOS 15.

To install tvOS 15, on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, go to the Settings channel, then navigate to the System section near the bottom. From here, navigate to Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install. Wait for your Apple TV to download the update, and do not disconnect or unplug your Apple TV until the update completes.

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. What do you like? What do you not like? Or are you simply disappointed that tvOS 15 brings nothing to like or dislike? Let us know by adding a comment below.

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Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Monday, September 20, 2021

Just installed this update on all three of my apple TV's. At first, all seemed normal, but when I went into TV Shows on my living room apple tv, I tried to play a show and the volume was very, very low. The swipe down for the subtitles and audio options doesn't seem to be a thing any more. Swipe up worked, I think, but VO completely disappeared, and I could only bring it back by unplugging the apple tv and plugging it back in. That part of the issue started as soon as I set up this particular apple TV box; not sure if that issue is present on my older models. I definitely plan to call Apple accessibility about this issue, but will probably wait until some of the excitement from iOS 15 update day has died down. Other than that, things seem as good as they ever are any more when it comes to VO and TV OS.