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Apple releases software update for third-generation Apple TV

Apple TV 3 software update

Somewhat out of the blue, Apple has released a minor software update for the third-generation Apple TV. This is technically listed as iOS 7.2.1, the same version number as the previous public Apple TV operating system. However, the build number has been bumped up, indicating Apple has rolled in some minor bug fixes and improvements.

The update comes as a welcome surprise for third-generation Apple TV owners, who had felt somewhat abandoned ever since Apple released the brand-new tvOS-based Apple TV 4 last fall. The change in build number only means that it is unlikely for the update to include major new features.. Nevertheless, let us know in the comments if you notice any changes with the new update.

  • Apple has posted a security document, noting that the Apple TV update includes many security fixes, affecting iCloud account data and other areas.

Although this is merely a minor bugfix release for old Apple TV owners, Apple is prepping a major update for the newest 2015 model of its set-top box. tvOS 9.2 is currently in beta and includes major new features, like app Folders, iCloud Photo Library, bluetooth keyboard support and text-field dictation. tvOS 9.2 is expected to be released in March.

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  1. cdenesha - 7 years ago

    My 3rd gen rev 2 Apple TVs have been reporting (to MDM) as iOS 8.3 all year. Now after the update they are iOS 8.4.1.

    I hope to learn what is different, beyond ‘This update includes general performance and stability improvements.’

  2. crichton007 - 7 years ago

    I understand that Apple has a desire to sell their newest product but I am completely lost when I try to understand why a product Apple still sells doesn’t support Apple Music.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Same…not to mention, I am betting the majority of Apple TV users out there in the world do NOT have a gen 4.
      It would be nice to see a chart based on web traffic from Apple that shows this to be true, but I doubt they would do that.
      They only do things like that when there is a huge positive reaction to their new hardware \ software releases — which granted, is still most of the time :)

      • crichton007 - 7 years ago

        The funny thing (to me) is that this means more money for Apple potentially too.

  3. John Long - 7 years ago

    I would like to see ATV 3gen get a Plex app!!! That would be an upgrade!!!

  4. Richie Rizzo - 7 years ago

    The fact that Apple has basically ‘cut-off’ subscribed paying users of Apple Music on ATV3 is offensive to say the least!
    They need to rectify this before more users jump ship as product quality and software usability lessens.
    Sucking every last dollar out of its loyal base of customers is exactly the kind of Big Brother attitude they so wanted to distance themselves from in the 80s.
    Apple, listen to your customers …please.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.