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Apple previews tvOS 13 update

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Apple has previewed tvOS 13, the software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD that is due to roll-out for free to customers this autumn.

The updated operating system features a new home screen and screen savers; multi-user support so that different users can access their own shows and recommendations; and support for forthcoming subscription games service Apple Arcade with expanded game controller compatibility.

Apple said the new Home Screen is “designed for discovery”, with apps now able to play full-screen video previews on the Home Screen, while Apple’s new underwater 4K HDR screen savers were filmed in collaboration with the BBC Natural History Unit.

The multi-user support makes it easy for users to switch between family members so that they each get their own personalised experience, a unique ‘Up Next’ list, and TV and movie recommendations.

Apple Arcade is due to launch in the autumn and will give Apple users access to more than 100 games across iOS, tvOS and Mac devices. The tvOS 13 update means that Apple TV users will be able to play these Arcade games using Xbox and PlayStation game controllers.

“tvOS powers the Apple TV 4K experience and continues to set the standard for home entertainment,” claimed Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing.

“With more personalised features to enjoy your favourite TV shows, movies, photos and music, expanded gaming support and stunning new screen savers, tvOS 13 delivers the most complete entertainment experience to everyone in the home.”

The tvOS developer preview is available for Apple Developer Program members from this week and a public beta will be available to tvOS users later this month before a full rollout in autumn.

The news comes after Apple launched an ‘all-new Apple TV app’ in more than 100 countries across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and selected Samsung smart TVs last month, letting users subscribe to and access on-demand content from individual Apple TV channels, as well as buy and rent content from iTunes.

Apple unveiled this app, along with its much-anticipated Apple TV+ streaming service, at a star-studded event at its Californian headquarters in Cupertino in March.

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