Apple will almost certainly unveil tvOS 11 (along with iOS 11, macOS 10.13 and watchOS 4) at WWDC in June, but not much has been said about what new stuff these software updates will bring.
According to a unverified report from The Verifier published today, the Apple TV is set for a significant update with the addition of Picture-in-Picture and multi-user modes …
As shown in the mockups provided by the site, tvOS 11 will add a way to handle multiple Apple IDs for the different people in the house.
When selecting one of these profiles, users will see only see their songs and playlists in the Music app, view their personal iCloud Photo Library in Photos, change the app home screen to display their apps and layout, and more.
In the report, The Verifier says that changing account is said to be as simple as changing a TV channel. Up to now, iOS devices are generally based on a single user account metaphor. Apple added Shared iPad features for education with iOS 9.3 last year.
This isn’t mentioned in the report explicitly but if the Apple TV is adding multiple account support, it would make sense for iOS 11 to include this as well.
The site also claims that Apple will bring a version of Picture-in-Picture to the Apple TV. This will work similar to Picture-in-Picture on iOS 9. The user will be able to start watching a video in an app, then watch that video in a smaller window docked to the sides of the screen whilst browsing the rest of the Apple TV.
This means tvOS 11 would enable Apple TV users to watch Netflix whilst checking the weather in another app or playing a game. However, it would not be possible to watch two videos side-by-side. If a PIP window is active, playing another video would pause/stop the PIP stream. This mirrors the behavior of iOS where only one video can be playing at a time.
The report ends with a brief claim that Apple continues to explore a TV subscription service, with plans to integrate a live EPG into the Apple TV UI.
The Verifier has risen to prominence in the Apple rumor community this year with a string of reports about the company’s plans. It has said that iOS 11 will enhance FaceTime with group video calling capabilities and that iOS 11 will integrate Siri with iMessage. It has also made a very dubious claim that the iPhone 8 will include a Smart Connector.
However, The Verifier’s reliability record is still very much in doubt as none of these reports have been proven correct … yet. We’ll see what Apple actually does with tvOS 11, iOS 11, macOS 10.13 and watchOS 4 at WWDC 2017, which kicks off on June 5th.