tvOS 17: Best features, compatibility, release date and more

The introduction of the new Vision Pro headset has likely eclipsed every update and new feature introduced in WWDC 2023. Amid these, one you may have overlooked is the latest version of Apple TV software – tvOS 17.

After two years of just giving minor updates, Apple has finally given tvOS a major revamp with an array of fascinating features. In this article, I’ll walk you through all the new features of tvOS 17, the devices that will support it, and its release date.


The world of Apple technology has seen significant updates and releases recently, including the unveiling of the Vision Pro headset. However, amidst all the excitement, it’s important not to overlook the latest version of Apple TV software – tvOS 17. After a couple of years with minor updates, tvOS 17 brings a major revamp packed with exciting features.

With tvOS 17, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time, allowing users to enjoy the app on their TV for even more engaging conversations with family and friends. (Image Credit: apple)

tvOS 17 supported devices

Before diving into the new features, let’s take a look at the Apple TV devices that will support tvOS 17:

  • Apple TV HD
  • Apple TV 4K (first generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (second generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (third generation)

Now that we know which devices are compatible, let’s explore the exciting features of tvOS 17.

New tvOS 17 features

Completely redesigned Control Center and Profiles

One noticeable update in tvOS 17 is the addition of another app slot in the Dock, allowing for six apps instead of the original five. But the major highlight is the redesigned Control Center, resembling the one found on iPhones. The new Control Center enhances the ease of navigating through different settings and controls on your Apple TV.

Another exciting feature is the fast Profile Switching with the Apple TV remote shortcut on your iPhone. When brought closer, the iPhone remote can instantly wake up its corresponding Apple TV. Additionally, through machine learning, Apple TV provides personalized recommendations based on the shows you recently watched. You can also customize your user profile by modifying the system language and pairing your AirPods for a more personalized experience.

The new Control Center on Apple TV makes accessing key settings and information easier than ever, by displaying system status details, such as time and active profile.

Locate Siri Remote with iPhone

The integration within the Apple ecosystem gets stronger with tvOS 17. The Apple TV remote in your iPhone enables you to access your own Apple TV profile and locate your Siri Remote (2nd generation or later). As you get closer to the remote, you’ll see an onscreen circle growing in size, indicating that you’re nearer.

On iPhone, users can launch the Apple TV remote inside Control Center to find their Siri Remote (2nd generation or later).

FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K

With tvOS 17, users can now enjoy FaceTime on their Apple TV 4K. You can initiate calls directly from the TV or start them from your iPhone or iPad and hand them off to your Apple TV. The device uses Continuity Camera and leverages your iPhone or iPad’s camera and microphone, providing a bigger screen for your FaceTime calls. The machine learning feature, Center Stage, keeps everyone in the conference call in the frame. Moreover, you can have a SharePlay session while on a FaceTime call, allowing you to enjoy your favorite series or shows simultaneously.

Available starting this fall, the new FaceTime app on Apple TV 4K will allow users to initiate calls directly from their TV, or start calls on iPhone or iPad, and hand them off to Apple TV.

Third-party app support

Apple’s support for FaceTime extends to popular video conferencing apps like Zoom and Webex, which will also be available on tvOS in the near future. Developers now have access to Continuity Camera APIs, allowing them to integrate the camera and microphone of iPhones or iPads into their apps on Apple TV. This opens the door to more immersive entertainment and shared experiences on the platform. For example, apps like Apple Music Sing can leverage Continuity Camera, enabling users to see themselves onscreen and apply fun filters as they sing along.

Additionally, tvOS 17 allows you to download third-party VPN apps to your Apple TV. This feature provides enhanced security for streaming and conferencing by keeping your activities hidden from your service provider. It also removes regional restrictions in streaming apps, giving you access to your favorite shows that may not be originally available in your region.

Turn Memories into Screensavers

In addition to streaming videos and shows, tvOS 17 allows you to enjoy your curated Memories from your personal library or shared memory on your Apple TV. You can relive memories and view Apple’s collection of sceneries, making the experience even more enjoyable on the big screen.

Other tvOS 17 features

Apart from the highlighted features, tvOS 17 brings several minor improvements to enhance the overall Apple TV experience. These include:

  • Enhanced dialogue: Isolates dialogue from surrounding background noise, making it easier for users to hear and understand the words amid music and sound effects.
  • Dolby Vision 8.1 support: Provides users with a more cinematic experience, offering surround sound with dynamic metadata across a broader range of shows.
  • Apple Fitness+ tweaks: Offers personalized workout or meditation schedules based on factors such as workout type, day, and duration. Features like Audio Focus and Stacks enhance the fitness and meditation experience.

tvOS 17 release date

As of writing this article, tvOS 17 is available in its Developer Beta form. The stable version of tvOS 17 is expected to roll out in September 2023, coinciding with the launch of new iPhones.

Interestingly, Apple recently announced that anyone can sign up for the Developer Program free of cost and test the latest Apple TV software.

How to install tvOS 17 developer beta on Apple TV

If you’re eager to try out tvOS 17 developer beta on your Apple TV, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings on your Apple TV.
  2. Choose System → Go to Software Updates.
  3. Select Get Beta Updates.
  4. Proceed by agreeing to the terms.
  5. If you’re eligible, you’ll be given the option to choose tvOS 17 Developer Beta.
  6. That’s it! You can now update your TV to the latest version available.


With the release of tvOS 17, Apple TV has undergone a significant transformation, becoming an even more integral part of the Apple ecosystem. The new features and improvements bring exciting possibilities for users, whether it’s navigating through the redesigned Control Center, enjoying FaceTime calls on the big screen, or exploring third-party app support. The stable version of tvOS 17 is set to arrive in September 2023, delivering an enhanced and immersive Apple TV experience.


1. Can I upgrade to tvOS 17 on my current Apple TV device?

Yes, if you own one of the supported devices mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to upgrade to tvOS 17 once it becomes available.

2. Will tvOS 17 support third-party video conferencing apps?

Yes, Apple is working on bringing popular

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