tvOS 15 is likely coming on the heels of the launch of the new Apple TV 4K, if historical precedent is to be believed. The next iteration of the Apple TV platform may be unveiled at WWDC 2021 next week.
tvOS is the operating system that runs the Apple TV and a new version is usually released every year in the fall. Last year’s tvOS 14 brought some new features to the Apple TV, including multi-user support and audio sharing, but didn’t represent a huge change. However, if rumors are to be believed, tvOS 15 may introduce a major design change in the navigation.
WWDC 2021 is set for June 7 and at previous conferences, Apple has announced a new version of tvOS alongside new versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and MacOS.
Here’s everything we know so far about tvOS 15.
tvOS 15 release date
While Apple has not confirmed that tvOS 15 will be unveiled at WWDC 2021, all signs point to the tech giant including it among their announcements to developers.
tvOS 14 was first announced at WWDC 2020 and rolled out in September 2020; tvOS 13 was announced at WWDC 2019 and rolled out in September 2019.
So, we expect Apple to follow a similar schedule for the tvOS 15 release. Mark your calendars for September 2021.
tvOS 15 redesign rumors
The tvOS interface hasn’t changed in years, but a rumor is circulating that tvOS 15 will be a “major update” that rolls out a redesign of the navigation. AppleTerm cites a report by Israeli blog The Verifier (though they note the blog has a spotty track record). According to The Verifier, tvOS 15 will have a new design, along with parental controls, kids mode and Screen Time.
Again, these are just rumors, so take that with a grain of salt. The current Apple TV home screen is elegant and easy to use, much better than the navigation you find on the Fire TV. So, we hope a potential redesign doesn’t mess with that too much.
The Verifier also claims that Apple is working on a program guide for live channels. This would, indeed, be a huge change. The Apple TV app does aggregate shows from other providers, but only ones available on-demand. Apple supports a number of live TV apps, like Fubo and Sling, but currently doesn’t surface the channels within those apps. A live guide would be a significant upgrade of the Apple TV app.
tvOS 15 features wish list
The other tvOS 15 features mentioned in the Verifier’s rumor report are all ones we’d like to see Apple introduce.
More parental controls and a kids mode are long overdue. This way, a parent could block their child from even seeing certain apps, rather than relying on the in-app controls to filter out content.
Screen Time is very likely to be added to the Apple TV, as it is already available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
One new tvOS 15 feature we’re hoping to see is integration of weather and news, because a lot of people use their TV to check the forecast and see the latest headlines.
tvOS 15 is likely to roll out new screensavers, like previous versions have done, but we’d really like to see Apple add options for wallpapers and maybe even (gasp!) themes.
And will tvOS 15 add Safari? Right now, there is no internet browser on the Apple TV. While nobody wants to surf the web via their television, the lack of a browser also means the lack of some functionality. It’s especially noticeable with Siri, which doesn’t do much on the Apple TV besides search for shows and movies. Siri would be much more robust with Safari integration.
tvOS 15 supported devices
tvOS 15 is expected to be compatible with all of the devices running tv OS 14, which are the Apple TV 4K (2021), the first-gen Apple TV 4K (2017) and the Apple TV HD.