Apple pushes out tvOS 16 update with support for Matter and HDR10+

Mike Wheatley

Apple has pushed out an incremental update for its tvOS platform, introducing some new features, bug fixes and other improvements to the TV operating system.


Apple tvOS 16 is available to download now, and one of the main new features is support for Matter. Matter is a unifying smart home standard that enables products to work with Apple HomeKit, plus Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, among other smart home automation platforms.

With support for Matter in tvOS, users will be able to control Matter-certified devices through the Home application on their Apple TV. However, users should note that while the support is now available, the actual standard is yet to launch. Apple has promised it will arrive before the end of the year though, so hopefully users won’t have too long to wait.

Another useful update for some sees tvOS 16 add the ability for users to pair a Nintendo Switch controller with Apple TV devices.

There’s also support for the HDR10+ standard, which is a dynamic HDR format similar to Dolby Vision. In addition, Apple said it has expanded tvOS’s cross-device capabilities, with the Apple TV app now able to integrate with iPhones, iPads and Apple Smart Watches to unlock “new experiences”.

As an example, Apple said that fitness apps on Apple TV can use metrics recorded by an Apple Watch to improve feedback for users. Meanwhile, video apps can include timelines and other data on an iPhone or iPad as media plays. Games developers could also add extra features that might be visible on an iPhone or iPad, such as a map or gameplay menu.

Apple also described a number of minor changes and improvements in tvOS 16, such as new SwiftUI elements that developers can use to tweak their apps, and the ability to add family members within the Control Centre. It also mentioned new rich previews for Apple TV+ that will improve content discovery, as well as a toggle button to to easily switch between 24-hour and 12-hour time formats. In addition, Apple said “intensity levels” are now displayed on screen in Apple Fitness+ workouts, with levels ranging from “easy” to “all-out”.

Apple said users can either wait for the update to arrive automatically, or install it manually by navigating to the “Settings” menu, selecting “System” and then “Software Updates” and following the instructions provided.