Skip to main content

New Apple TV tvOS hacked to show iOS-like app folders

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 9.45.02 PM

Apple released the first tvOS 9.1 beta to developers earlier this week, but it lacked the addition of one major feature many have been calling for: folder support on the homepage. Now, well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered that out of the box, the tvOS user interface features “pretty complete” folder support…

Smith dug deeper into the tvOS 9.0 build and was even able to hack folders into working. He has since been playing around with it and has shared images of the feature on Twitter. Smith noted of how users would be able to name folders, much like iOS, as opposed to just using the suggested names that Apple provides based on the apps’ categories in the App Store.

To delete an app from a folder, you would simply press the play/pause button on the remote. The folders appear to offer a 3×3 setup, meaning you could fit 9 apps on a single page.

It’s unclear when or if Apple plans to activate folder support on tvOS, but the fact that it’s there means the company has at least experimented with it before. It’s possible that folder support is coming in tvOS 9.1 and simply wasn’t activated in the first beta, although it’s also possible that the feature is coming in tvOS 10.0. Or not at all.

Apple has made a couple of minor behind the scenes changes to the App Store on tvOS since the fourth-gen device launched last week, including adding Top Charts and categories. While those features were able to be added by Apple in the background, the addition of folders would almost certainly require an OTA update, in the form of tvOS 9.1 or 10.0.

[tweet align=’center’]

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. Craig Hart - 7 years ago

    You can already double click the tv button and get the app switch like the iPhone double click on the home button

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      I had to do that to open the app switcher to quit the App Store to get the catalogues section to show up.

      • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

        With some of the functions and gestures not being as natural as an iPhone I wish apple had something similar to the bird LG has to learn the interface on their web OS tv’s.

        I’m sure most people don’t even know the Apple TV has a app switcher. Apple TV could use a Tips app more then iPhone and iPad.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        The tips app on iPhone is a true embarrassment. The idea of having a tips app is great, but Apple’s implementation of it is beyond sad. It’s literally just a randomized long list of tips, which has now changed. They had a lot of tips in it, and now they removed all of those and started over, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. They never had and still don’t have them organized in a categorized list, it couldn’t be worse honestly.

  2. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    Can you hack it to add the Nintendo Wii menu music in the background so that it completes the experience?

  3. stickyicky97 - 7 years ago

    They need to activate the Folder option. I hate have to scroll down several lines to find/open an App. If I can create “TV” and “Games” folders, it will clean up my home screen and make it more organized and accessible.

  4. PMZanetti - 7 years ago

    “Hacked” to show folders. What is this 2009?

    • jpatel330 - 7 years ago

      That comment should be directed to Apple, since they seem to have forgotten to put the folders in. People should not have to hack for such a common feature (which Apple supports across other iOS devices, so why not the Apple TV?).


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

Tips, questions, typos to