Apple’s WWDC Keynote announcements have come and gone, and the latest version of our favorite operating systems are now available to developers in beta form. Naturally, we have been digging around for all of those little features that didn’t get any Keynote love, including those on Apple’s TV set top box. While smaller, here are six features that provide some much needed customization and control.
Screen saver selection
In tvOS 14, Apple has added a new setting that allows users to see which Aerial screen savers will and will not appear. Users can choose to show or hide screen savers from four categories: Landscape, Earth, Underwater, Cityscape. Here’s how to find the latest setting:
- Launch Settings
- Click on General
- Click on Screen Saver
- Click on Themes
- Click on the Theme that you would like to show or hide.
Now, HomeKit support on the Apple TV certainly isn’t new, as Siri voice controls and third-party apps have been available for a few years now, including camera apps. However, Apple’s new camera implementation adds something that previous versions of tvOS did not have access to: camera audio.
Apple Arcade and Game Center
In doesn’t just end there though, Apple is integrating Game Center directly into the Arcade app, and the AppStore. When browsing through the list of available titles, you will see a large area highlighting achievement progress in specific games. Apple also provides an encouraging message such as “You’re On a Roll” and the total number of achievements unlocked for the game, along with a button to launch the game.
This notification shows the active user, as well as a reminder on how to switch users by holding down the Home button on the Siri Remote. Sure, it isn’t the biggest of changes, especially for those that do not share the Apple TV with others, but it will undoubtedly help to prevent those occasions where you can’t quite figure out why the Apple TV app is showing a different list of shows or movies in the Up Next area.
Privacy and Restrictions
While tvOS 14 was not specifically mentioned, Apple has renamed a previously Apple ad specific privacy setting to just Tracking in the settings app. Previously the ad specific setting was listed as Limit Ad Tracking and stated the following:
Ad tracking allows Apple to provide targeted ads.
In tvOS 14, the setting has been renamed to Allow Apps to Request to Track and it now includes the follow description:
Allowing Apps to track activity associated with your unique Advertising Identifier across apps, and to share information about your usage with affiliates.
The setting appears to be set to off by default, and it can be found using the following steps:
- Launch Settings
- Click on General
- Click on Privacy
- Click on Tracking
- Click on Allow Apps to Request to Track to toggle it on or off
This shortcut has been removed entirely, as well as the option in Settings, which suggests that Apple may have something in store later on down the road, like the rumored ability to permanently set a HomePod as a speaker for the TV. Of course, this could also be just Apple’s way of consolidating controls, as users can still select playback destinations through Control Center.
What are your favorite tvOS 14 features?
Find any hidden tvOS features that we may have missed, or have a feature that you are excited about? Let us know in the comments below!
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