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Here’s why tvOS 17 will be bad news for Apple TV users

Published Apr 30th, 2023 9:02AM EDT
HomePod 2 tvOS 17
Image: Apple Inc.

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tvOS 17 should be previewed in a few weeks during Apple’s WWDC 2023 keynote. I said “should” because Apple has not uttered a single word about Apple TV’s operating system during its keynote presentations for the past two years at WWDC.

As the company focuses on smart home appliances by bringing back the HomePod with a second generation and also supporting the Matter standard, it’s weird how Apple has been neglecting its smart home hub.

While the company is still committed to giving us hardware updates for its set-top box – last year, it released another Apple TV with the A15 Bionic chip and a handful of new features, tvOS doesn’t keep up with important software updates.

iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS all have specific pages addressing the new features they will bring after a WWDC keynote. Still, tvOS functions always appear months later in a footnote of the Apple TV product page.

Besides my opinion that tvOS 17 will be another mild update, other pieces of evidence corroborate that. A few newsletters ago, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple wasn’t planning anything significant for tvOS 17. In addition, interesting data released by the Cupertino firm shows that the average monthly active users on its tvOS App Store are around 1 million users – which is lower than the macOS store with 6 million, iPadOS store with 23 million, and the iPhone store with 101 million.

With such a lower user base, it seems likely that Apple hasn’t focused that much on tvOS as it’s putting all its resources into the long-rumored mixed reality headset, which should also be unveiled during the WWDC keynote.

As Apple aims at gaming, fitness, and collaboration, the success of its Mixed Reality headset could turn the company’s core in the next decade, as Apple also doesn’t believe the iPhone will stick around for that long.

As a hard-core Apple TV user, I hope I can be proved wrong, but it feels like Apple has forgotten about tvOS, and the same will happen with tvOS 17 update.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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