tvOS 17.1 RC is now available to developers as the testing cycle nears its end. Although tvOS 17 was a significant upgrade, version 17.1 seems to bring only small enhancements.
Interestingly, one of the features that we thought was exclusive to Apple TV 4K users with a pair of HomePod 2 speakers might be expanded to all other HomePod models. According to X user Sigmund Judge, Apple is seemingly extending the Enhance Dialogue feature to original HomePod and HomePod mini models, too.
Enhanced Dialogue helps Apple TV users hear more clearly what’s being said over effects, action, and music in a movie or TV show on Apple TV 4K by separating the dialogue from the background noise and bringing it forward to the center channel.
Now, with tvOS 17.1 beta, it seems Apple is expanding this feature to all HomePod models. As spotted by Sigmund Judge, he and Rasmus at FlatPanels discovered this change after updating a pair of HomePod mini and an Apple TV 4K to the latest beta of tvOS 17.1/HomePod Software Version 17.1.
That said, while it seemed tvOS 17.1 wouldn’t bring new features, it’s actually adding a function that will really improve watching people’s favorite TV shows and movies.
With tvOS 17, Apple added a major revamp to Apple TV users. For the first time, the Apple TV hardware integrates with the iPhone camera with the Continuity Camera feature on the new system.
In addition, Apple Music Sing also integrates with Continuity Camera so Apple TV users can see themselves onscreen and add “entertaining filters” while singing.
Even though iOS 17 didn’t get a revamped Control Center as it was rumored, the Apple TV with tvOS 17 did. The new Control Center focuses on making things easier for the Apple TV. From there, you can see the system status, the current time, and the active profile. It also makes connecting Bluetooth devices or checking your Home accessories easier. Bringing the new UI to multiple platforms, a new Control Center interface is also available in watchOS 10.
Besides tvOS 17.1 RC, Apple is seeding the Release Candidate versions of iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, watchOS 10.1, and macOS 14.1.