There’s Also a tvOS 17, Though I Bet You Would Never Buy an Apple TV Box

 

There’s Also a tvOS 17, Though I Bet You Would Never Buy an Apple TV Box

But maybe you should?



Yeah, I know: why would any sane person pay $149 U.S. for an Apple TV box when you can get a Roku for a fifth of that?

I paid that and I don’t regret it one bit. First off, the cheap Roku box doesn’t even begin to compare to Apple TV. You’d need to buy their $99 Ultra model if you want to compare the same kind of features. CNET compares them head to head and gives Apple the edge, but only by a slim margin.

Yet I will confidently say that if you are already using Apple gear, don’t bother to read the CNET post. Buy the Apple TV and don’t look back.

As of IOS 17, with an Apple TV 4K 2d Gen and newer,  FaceTime works on your TV. That’s what is on my screen in the photo above. It’s an important point for Apple that CNET didn’t know when they wrote their comparison. For me, that’s point and game.

No, there’s no camera on any Apple TV box, not yet anyway. The FaceTime app makes use of Continuity Camera on your iPhone or iPad running IOS 12 or later. That’s it, and you can even start the FaceTime on the phone or iPad and switch to the TV. 

The phone or iPad can be close to you, it doesn’t have to sit near the TV.

Zoom and some other apps have said they will be offering their apps on Apple TV soon.

FaceTime can work full screen or with split screen and SharePlay for watching movies or playing Arcade games with other not sane people who squandered their money on Apple TV.

In FaceTime, Center Stage keeps you in frame while you move about. That’s been available for a while, but IOS 17 adds Portrait Mode to blur the background.

There’s also this silly Reactions stuff where giving a thumbs up puts bubbles on the screen and two thumbs up brings on fireworks. I expect if there are any sane people with Apple TV’s, they’ll be disabling that puppy right quick. 

Control Center

A new Control Center offers much more than previously: a prominent Power Off button, access to WiFi or Ethernet configuration, a toggle for game controllers, speaker choices, access to Accessibility settings and Restrictions, Search, plus two weird things. 

One of those is Do Not Disturb. I have never had a Notification on Apple TV while watching a show. Maybe this is to block incoming FaceTime calls? Oh, and some people have Sports Notifications turned on, which they might want to disable temporarily. 

I would rather be waterboarded than watch sports of any kind.

Then we have a Sleep Timer that will turn off the TV up to two hours later. That would keep me awake worrying that it would shut off before my brain does.

There’s access to HomeKit Scenes and security cameras. You can switch Profiles from here too. 

Karaoke

They say there is a Music Sing feature that works with Continuity Camera. I don’t sing and nobody would want me to.

VPN

I have no interest, but those who feel boxed in by app localization restrictions will love this.

HomePod 2

I don’t have one of the new big HomePods but if you do, you can enable “Enhanced Dialogue”, which boosts the speech part of what you are watching. I’m hoping this trickles down to the Mini’s as it might help my hard of hearing wife.

Find the damn remote!

Finally this will be possible, though it uses Bluetooth proximity rather than a UI chip.

Apple Fitness

While it has some new features, I gave up on Apple Fitness a while ago. I’m too old to keep up with these super fit young trainers, even the ones supposedly doing less demanding exercise. I see that Workouts for Older Adults is back (I couldn’t find it for a while); maybe I’ll try that again and see if I can survive.

Did I miss anything?

Probably, so do let me know.

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