Hands-on with tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and more


Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software designed to run on fourth and fifth generation Apple TV models. TvOS updates are often on a smaller scale than iOS, watchOS and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some new and useful features.


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Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the ‌Apple TV‌ app that allowed watching TV content and movies from the app while doing other things on ‌Apple TV‌, and in ‌tvOS 14‌, that functionality is expanding.

Picture in Picture now works on tvOS, but it’s worth noting that third-party apps need to implement support so apps like YouTube don’t work with the feature right now.

AirPlay works with Picture in Picture so you can contentAirPlay‌ video content from iOS apps like YouTube, Disney + and more to ‌Apple TV‌ and then watch them in windowed mode while playing or using a training app.

Speaking of YouTube, the YouTube app on ‌tvOS 14‌ will support 4K video streaming for the first time, allowing you to watch higher resolution content. Presumably YouTube needs to implement support, so the feature still doesn’t work. ‌Apple TV‌ also supports sharing and watching 4K videos taken with iPhone.

With Audio Sharing for AirPods, two people can connect their irAirPods‌ to ‌Apple TV‌ to watch a TV show or movie without disturbing the other people in the room.

VtvOS 14‌ features multi-user game support for Apple Arcade, so when you swap profiles, the TV will track each person’s levels, leaderboards, and more. Apple also added support for the Xbox Elite 2 Wireless Controller and the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

In ‌tvOS 14‌, you can choose a specific group of screensavers, such as ocean, space, or cities, instead of having TVOS choose at random, and there is a new HomeKit feature for the Control Center.

By using the remote control to navigate to the Control Center and tapping the Home app icon, you can view its susHomeKit‌ accessories and access scenes. This view also includes camera power from connected ‌HomeKit‌ cameras, so you can watch your home security video in full screen on your TV or in Picture-in-Picture mode.

The Apple TV can even alert you when someone is at the door if you have a video doorbell connected to HomeKit, displaying the video when someone rings the doorbell.

VtvOS 14‌ is available to developers and, as of today, public beta testers. You’ll see a few months of testing before Apple releases it to the public in the fall.

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