Apple’s tvOS is getting multi-user, Xbox One and PS4 controller support


If you blinked last night you might have missed Apple’s mention of tvOS, the operating system used to run the Apple TV. The company doesn’t typically place a massive emphasis on the operating system, perhaps because it’s not quite as… sexy as iOS and macOS. But Apple’s looking to change that, thanks to new Apple TV features announced in March this year.

So at last night’s WWDC 2019 presentation, we were treated to a short aside about the Apple TV operating system. Like everything else that Apple detailed yesterday, it’s getting a couple of improvements.

Netflix? Don’t know him

Apple’s tweaking the home screen of tvOS, which isn’t much of a technical marvel. It’s more like a shuffling of icons (which is what George R.R. Martin is doing right now instead of writing the damned books). The operating system will show full-screen video previews, like a certain streaming service called Netflix that shall remain nameless.

Multi-user support is also coming to tvOS, allowing each user to keep their recommended items in one place rather than having to sift through what the kids/spouse/siblings/relatives insist on watching for whatever unholy reason. The user accounts are hosted (and controlled) by the Apple TV Control Center, which also hides speedy access to Apple TV features.

It’s all about control(ler)

Apple Arcade is coming a little later this year and that means folks are going to want to play games using Apple’s… operating systems? Is that allowed? Actually, we’ve checked and it is. Apple isn’t going to be releasing its own gaming hardware, though. Why should it, when there are perfectly good controllers lying around waiting to do the job.

Apple announced that both the PlayStation DualShock 4 controller and the Xbox One controller will be supported by Apple’s tvOS. Before you get too snippy, though, that controller support has been extended to Apple’s mobile platforms as well, since Apple Arcade will be available on iOS 13-supporting devices as well. Extending the controller support kinda makes sense at this point.

NASA’s worst nightmare

Another snippet that appeared during Apple’s tvOS musings was a preview of Apple’s For All Mankind, a what-if series examining what the world would have looked like if JFK’s successful trip to the moon was instead achieved by Russian cosmonauts.

The series, helmed by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, ponders what Earth would look like if the Space Race never came to an end. And, honestly, if the Russians had outdone the Americans back in 1969, the Space Race probably would still be ongoing. The alternate history series looks mighty interesting as it stands here. Some of the doubts we might have had about Apple’s Originals have been launched into orbit now.


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