Apple's tvOS 16 beta codebase hints at new streaming device

Mike Wheatley

Rumours that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top box or streaming device have gained further credence with the discovery of references to a new “Siri remote” in the tvOS 16 beta codebase, which is now available to developers.


The report from MacRumors cites a contributor to the AppledB database called AaronP613, who has apparently unearthed references to a “SiriRemote 4” within the code. This, it’s assumed, it's a newly updated remote control, as previous references to the Siri remote that came with the existing Apple TV 4K were known as “SiriRemote 3”.

The theory then is that Apple is developing a new Siri Remote to go along with a new device. That’s in line with claims made by the renowned Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, who has previously said the company is looking to launch a new, lower cost Apple TV streaming device.

Beyond the possibility of a new Apple device, the tvOS 16 beta code also suggests that owners of existing Apple TV boxes may get an update in the shape of HDR10+ support, plus superior smart home functionality. There also appears to be tighter integration with other Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads, and expanded support for Bluetooth games controllers.

If this all comes to fruition it would be a fairly substantial update, but of course the real news is the prospect of a cheaper Apple TV streamer. GIven the lack of any official announcements around tvOS at WWDC 2022, Apple’s developer conference that took place earlier this year, it seems likely that whatever is planned could make its debut in Autumn, when Apple traditionally launches new devices.

While any improvements to the Siri remote would be welcome, assuming they do actually improve the user experience, it’s the more affordable streamer that would be the main headline. At present, the Apple TV 4K is well and truly in the luxury streaming device camp, with a price tag of £169 for the 32GB version, rising to £189 for 64GBs. Given that most rival brands offer streaming devices far cheaper than that, it would make sense for Apple to want launch a more affordable option