Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

Beats on Apple TV

In addition to shipping iOS 8 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today, Apple has released a software update to Apple TV (third-generation) users as well. As we previewed before, the new version of Apple TV’s software brings a refreshed design with thinner text and flatter icons bringing it more in line with iOS’s look and feel. The update also includes a newly added Beats Music channel for the subscription streaming music service Apple purchased earlier this year.

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

The update also delivers on support for Family Sharing, Apple’s new feature allowing users to connect multiple Apple ID accounts to a single group with one credit card for sharing purchases, which extends to purchases of movies, TV shows, and music.

In addition to user interface refinements, icon refreshes, and Family Sharing support, the latest version of Apple TV’s software delivers iCloud Photo Library support to users taking advantage of the new feature from iOS 8.


FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    There it is. Surprise of the day. There’s always one. Beats added to AppleTV.

    Where the heck are iWork for iOS updates?

  2. luckydcxx - 8 years ago

    i love beats music! very happy about this!

  3. goodenglishgrammar - 8 years ago

    What about peer-to-peer Airplay? Probably the most important upcoming feature for AppleTV as related to iOS8.

    • iJonni - 8 years ago

      Can you explain what this is? I didn’t play with the Apple TV betas. Also, is the beats music app coming to 2nd gen Apple TV as well or do you need Apple TV os7 to install? (Still upset no support for 2nd gen)

      • - 8 years ago

        Direct wireless connection from iOS device to AppleTV with no need for a separate wifi network.

    • This should have been in from the start, as AppleTV would have made a GREAT business travel tool for presentations. Without it, it’s been a really hard sell for corporate use.

  4. Jason Graham - 8 years ago

    Is this only available with the newer 1080p Apple TV’s? I have the 720p version, MC572LL/A, I ran the update and it shows I have version 6.2.1 installed, yet no Beats Music and no new UI?

    • Zac Hall - 8 years ago

      UI is definitely limited to Apple TV 3. Sorry to hear that Beats Music channel is as well. I’d be frustrated myself.

    • Jose Guitian Cicero - 8 years ago

      kind of stupid they shoehorn iOS8 onto the 4S which makes it suck yet we cant get a couple of updated icons on the 2nd gen AppleTV?

  5. Michel - 8 years ago

    Unfortunalty Beats is USA only just like all the other apps people got in the USA.

  6. rsnyder6 - 8 years ago

    I wonder how Family Sharing (which I am really looking forward to on iPhones and iPads) works on the Apple TV. Maybe we set it up as it’s own ID? Mutiple IDs?

    • Apple TV already allows for Multiple ID’s for the iTunes Store, you can then switch between them through the settings menu.

    • I haven’t been home to try it yet, but Family Sharing requires one family member to be the “family organizer”, so I’m assuming it would be just their account that would be signed into Apple TV. Or potentially any of the other family member’s IDs, but there would only be one account signed in one time. Then content from all the family members appears as content available to stream.

  7. Cameron Scott - 8 years ago

    I haven’t updated Apple TV yet but I do wish they would do a UI overhaul soon. I actually thought the original Apple TV UI was a better set-up then the current one. Also, if you have a large music or movie library connected, it is a pain having to skim through your selection. A quick jump to letter like a rolodex or how the music app on iOS is would be greatly appreciated.

    • WaveMedia (@WaveMedia) - 8 years ago

      I think they expect (and probably rightly so) that most people with an Apple TV will also have an iOS device they can use the remote app with.

      • Daniel Roose - 8 years ago

        It’s still very much in their wheelhouse to make improvements to their service. Movies and TV are the only things I have with all the appropriate metadata for a scrolling album view but they don’t have anything like it on the Apple TV. I’d also like the ability to create unlimited library sections like “Downloaded Youtube Videos”, “Short Films”. As it is I have to use Playlists, but the interface isn’t made for that use. They can make it much more sexy with a little bit of effort.

      • Greg Brown (@gk_brown) - 8 years ago

        The remote app sucks. I’ve tried it a bunch of times and I always end up deleting it.

        I like the idea of using an iPhone or iPad as a remote is good, but the UI needs to be a lot better.

  8. Taste_of_Apple - 8 years ago

    Reblogged this on Taste of Apple Tech and commented:
    Some nice updates here.

  9. chrisl84 - 8 years ago

    If theres no Apple TV at the rumored October event I’ll finally upgrade to the 3rd Gen. But I’d really like to skip it for the 4th Gen if Apple would just release the dang thing.

  10. I’m getting close to removing Apple TV from my media cabinet. It doesn’t take up much room, but honestly, I just don’t use it. It was bought for AirPlay Video but that just never seems to get used anymore, people just prefer to view directly on an iPad.

    There’s been so much potential, but every time something is added, it’s always been another subscription channel of some sort. I’m not going to subscribe to anything, so they’re just icons to fill up and clutter the screen or to hide.

    My networked music players already have the best sound quality in the industry and I can play any locally stored tune or stream almost anything from the net – without needing the TV to be on. And I’ve been using a great media extender on my screens for years now with no plans to switch them out (SageTV).

    I’d still love to know what Steve Jobs had in mind when he mentioned he’d figured TV out, because Apple TV is not it. Things take time, but Apple have squandered a lot of it by not turning TV into the app-based cash cow that other iOS devices are. I can see some use for it if the ability to flip over to a Plex or Kodi (formerly XBMC) UI via an app were present. I’d even use it for some Flickr browsing if the app wasn’t so terrible.

  11. When is Apple gonna get serious and release an AppleTV App Store for games and other apps, along with it’s own bluetooth controller. They would kill the gaming market by doing this. Oh well, a man can dream!

  12. Jose Guitian Cicero - 8 years ago

    3rd gen only?! i cant see how the 2nd gen cant handle updated icons? lol hopefully they release something new soon anyway.

  13. Cameron Baird - 8 years ago

    I have just about had it. No Mac Mini in years, a pathetic upgrade to the IMac and AppleTV is PISS POOR compared to the Amazon product!!! Bezos has a much better GUI than Apple!!! What does that tell you? Ok Timmy……we are all sick of the AppleTV line of bullshit. Bring out a killer product or shut up! Upgrade your computers (you are a computer company) with state of the art processors or go home. No Mac Mini next month……I’m out of here!!!

  14. Greg Brown (@gk_brown) - 8 years ago

    I’m very disappointed that the 2nd-gen isn’t supported. I skipped the 3rd-gen release because I don’t need 1080i. I’d happily buy a 4th-gen model today (two, in fact) if it was available (assuming it supported an app store).

  15. Paul Sparklin - 8 years ago

    I have a 3rd gen device and CANNOT download the newest software, 7 (re-set, unplug, yadda yadda yadda). I get the new icons when new channels are added. Made many attempts to download but the screen says “estimated time to download 10…11 hours” and then quit. Anyone else having trouble?? Apple Support sucks!


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.