Apple's tvOS 13 Operating System Is Now Available

Mike Wheatley

Apple this week released tvOS 13, the latest version of its operating system for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models.


tvOS 13 is a major update that's gone through an extensive beta-testing period, bringing with it a refreshed home screen, multi-user functionality, support for Apple Arcade and the Xbox and PlayStation controllers, and lots more.

The updated Home screen is designed to make it easier for users to discover new content, Apple said. Apps can also now play full-screen video previews directly on the Home screen, similar to what Netflix does, once developers implement support for the feature.

There’s also support for multiple users, which seems to be another idea borrowed from Netflix. With it, each family member can make their own profile on Apple TV so they can access a customized interface that shows their own personal recommendations, music and Watch Now playlists.

To create a new profile or switch between users, simply go to the new Control Center. From there it’s also possible to set the time and date, search Apple TV, setup AirPlay controls and even a sleep option.

Meanwhile gamers will be delighted to know that tvOS 13 finally brings support for Apple Arcade, the company’s new gaming service that can already be accessed using an iPhone. Apple Arcade provides unlimited access to more than 60 new and exclusive games and is priced at £4.99 per month. To play the games you will need a controller of some sort, and so Apple is making life much easier by providing support for the Xbox Wireless Bluetooth Controller and the PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller, both of which can now connect to an Apple TV using Bluetooth.

Another new feature carried over from the iPhone and other Apple devices is “Sign in with Apple”. With tvOS 13, apps that support the service will let users sign up with their Apple IDs instead of creating a new user name and password. One great thing about Sign in with Apple, for the security conscious anyhow, is that it lets users hide their real email address and instead provide a fake one. That means your data stays safe, and hopefully a lot less spam too.

Also nice are the new sea-themed screensavers that Apple has created in partnership with the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

Apple said Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates switched on should receive the tvOS 13 update automatically. For those who don’t have updates enabled, they can download the new software manually via the Settings app. Simply go to System > Software Update and follow the instructions from there.