Apple overhauls its streaming options: New update lets you use Xbox controllers

Joe Supan
JS
Joe Supan
Jun 3, 2019

At its annual developers conference today, Apple previewed tvOS 13, the latest operating system update to its popular streaming device. The Apple TV update will be available this fall as free software updates for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

Here’s what’s new

Support for game controllers

The biggest piece of news in the Apple TV update section — and the one that got the loudest cheers — came for Apple’s support for popular game controllers Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4. When the update comes out, you’ll be able to use these controllers on games downloaded in Apple TV’s App Store — a literal game-changer.

This comes just in time for Apple Arcade, which will give users access to 100+ exclusive games for a monthly fee. (Think Netflix for video games.) Until now, it was unclear how you would actually play through Apple TV, as the remote would have been less than ideal. This move makes Apple Arcade a much more appealing option for gamers, and particularly for gaming families. Everyone in the house is covered under one subscription, so you’ll be able to play on up to six devices at once.

Switch between profiles

Have more than one person using the Apple TV in your house? The new Apple TV Control Center will let you switch between profiles when you open the device, a welcome addition for anyone whose “up next” recommendations keep getting messed up by their roommates.

Technically, you can already set up multiple accounts, but it’s a cumbersome process that requires lots of logging in and out. While they didn’t go into too many details on this Apple TV update, it looks like it will be a pretty seamless process.

Multi-user support will carry over to Apple Music as well, where you’ll be able to see your playlists and customized recommendations, as well as lyrics that show up on the display that sync to your music.

New Home screen and screen savers

Finally, they also unveiled some nice aesthetic improvements within this Apple TV update. Apps will be able to play video previews right from the Home screen, so you can quickly find new stuff to watch.

Even when you’re not using the Apple TV, it’s still going to be pretty to look at. Apple collaborated with the BBC Natural History Unit, the same team that made Blue Planet to produce a number of new screen savers in pristine 4K HDR video.

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