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tvOS 17.4 beta 4 now available with references to unreleased products and systems

Published Feb 20th, 2024 1:12PM EST
Apple TV 4K running the latest tvOS 17.2 with the revamped TV app
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple has just released tvOS 17.4 beta 4 to Apple TV users. At this moment, little is known about the changes the company is adding to this operating system update. However, with beta 1, the company added references to unreleased homeOS software.

Most likely, this software could be used for a HomePod with a screen. Bloomberg and other outlets have reported on a HomePod with iPad integration, like an Amazon Echo Show product. Apple is also apparently working on a HomePod with a circular display. That said, instead of the current wave animations that we have on the HomePod, we could see music and weather data, for example.

That would come in handy, as tvOS 17.4 beta was adding a SharePlay feature for Apple Music. iPhone users could scan a QR code on the Apple Music app for the Apple TV and join a SharePlay session to add songs to a list and create a listening party. Unfortunately, Apple removed this function in previous betas.

Besides that, tvOS 17.4 also hints at a new HomePod with a screen. 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito found references to an upcoming HomePod with a screen, which is in an “advanced stage of development.” According to Espósito, here’s what he could find with tvOS 17.4 beta:

  • This unreleased device is identified as Z314
  • It is powered by an A15 Bionic chip (which both the newest Apple TV 4K and the iPad mini 6 also are)
  • tvOS 17.4 beta 3 adds support to new SwiftUI frameworks for the HomePod, including a tool used to debug unresponsive UI in iOS apps.

This all leads the journalist to believe Apple is indeed working on a HomePod with a screen.

Alongside tvOS 17.4 beta 4, Apple is also seeding the fourth testing version of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, watchOS 10.4, and macOS 14.4. BGR will let you know if we learn anything new about this or any other upcoming operating system 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.