The fourth-gen release of the Apple TV in 2015 was unquestionably a solid upgrade, but the device didn’t exactly shake up the industry. Despite support for an App Store, a brand new Siri-based remote and a handful of other features, the Apple TV 4 was far from the revolutionary set-top box Apple presumably assumed it would be at launch. Of course, not helping matters was that the device didn’t ship with an accompanying TV streaming service, as was previously rumored.
But as Tim Cook said of the Apple TV a few years ago, Apple will keep on “pulling the string and see where it takes” them. The more recent rumor involving the Apple TV comes from the Hebrew-language site The Verifier which claims that the next incarnation of tvOS — tvOS 11 — will introduce some compelling new features which, while not revolutionary, will introduce compelling improvements to the overall user experience.
Said to debut at WWDC in just about two months, sources purportedly familiar with Apple’s plans claim that tvOS 11 will be a significant update that will allow Apple TV users to set up separate viewing profiles for individual users. Further, switching between varying user profiles is said to be a rather simple and quick process.
“Once the account is synchronized,” the report reads, “each user can listen to his music from Apple Music, view iCloud-backed photos and videos, watch downloaded content on his iTunes account, and of course use his own apps…”
Notably, Apple’s Mac platform already supports multi-user accounts, but the feature has yet to migrate over to any of Apple’s other products in a meaningful way.
Another interesting feature set to make its debut in tvOS 11 is support for picture-in-picture. So if you’re interested in watching a YouTube video or a Netflix show while exploring other apps, you’ll have free rein to do so.
Last but not least, the report corroborates previous reports pointing to Apple’s ongoing interest in rolling out a streaming TV service. Earlier this month, a report surfaced indicating that Apple is trying to develop a skinny bundle that would include premium channels like HBO and Showtime at no additional cost.