Apple has released the third tvOS 9.2 beta software update to registered developers for testing. Previous versions of the pre-release Apple TV software update have added major changes to the new device including app folders similar to iOS and OS X, Bluetooth keyboard support, a redesigned app switcher, and even full iCloud Photo Library support. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
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The initial tvOS 9.2 beta back in January also gave us the first look at the redesigned Podcasts app for Apple TV, although Apple TV users received the new app in a publicly released software update shortly after. While the original beta Podcasts app only supported audio playback, the released version and new beta versions support video as well.
tvOS 9.2 also lets you organize apps or channels into groups by creating folders similar to those on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Folders consist of three columns and a continuously scrolling view of rows unlike on iOS and OS X. The Apple TV update also changes how the app switcher appears similar to the change between iOS 8 and iOS 9. Rather than seeing full screens of app previews, the new method stacks several screens over each other and scrolls in the opposite direction.
The fourth-gen Apple TV also gains Bluetooth keyboard support, which older Apple TVs had but the new one lacked before tvOS 9.2.
And iCloud Photo Library support is something brand new to the Apple TV experience with tvOS 9.2. First added in the second beta, this lets you view your full collection of photos and videos synced with iCloud Photo Library using the Apple TV. Previously, Apple TV has only supported viewing iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream but not full libraries using iCloud. The update to the Photos app also lets you view Live Photos shot on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, complete with video and sound for the first time.
Here’s what’s new:
- You can now use Dictation to search in text boxes using the Siri Remote (hooray!)
- Here’s how it looks.
- Siri can now search the App Store. For instance, “Search the App Store for Crossy Road” will open the app’s landing page.