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tvOS 9.1 beta 3 is now available on Apple TV for developers

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.37.11 AM

There’s a new software update awaiting Apple TV developers today. tvOS 9.1 beta 3 is now available for registered developers testing apps against the upcoming software update to Apple TV. The initial iOS 9.1 beta for developers was released a couple weeks ago, but no visual changes have surfaced yet aside from Siri support for Apple Music, which Apple promises will be available early next year for all Apple TV 4th-gen owners. While the new Apple TV runs the modern tvOS platform and has an App Store for games and many other types of apps, customers have highlighted incompatibility with Apple’s Remote apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch (where it’s built in). Bluetooth keyboards that are supported by Apple TV 3rd-gen and prior boxes aren’t yet supported by the new Apple TV either. Apple’s Podcasts app on earlier Apple TV models has also not yet made its way to the new box.

When it launches to the public, tvOS 9.1 will be the first big point update for the new Apple TV since it launched at the end of October. The very first software update for the new Apple TV, tvOS 9.0.1, was released with no visible changes in early November. That update likely includes bug fixes and performance improvements, although release notes for Apple TV updates weren’t presented during the update.

Thanks to the new Apple TV App Store, the biggest changes to the entertainment box comes in the form of new apps and services like Plex and other popular services and games.

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  1. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Yo Zac, I haven’t gotten any notifications from 9to5 Mac in my OS X sidebar for the past two days or so…Is something up with that? Or is it my system? Thanks.

    • pokecaptain - 7 years ago

      I’ve had issues with that as well, although I get the 9to5Toys notifications just fine.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        Thanks — I thought it was only me. Oh well — I don’t subscript to 9to5 toys…Wish there was some way to fix this.

  2. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Wish Remote app and Bluetooth keyboard support was part of the update.

    Hope they are adding more IOS features to Siri, besides just Apple Music.

  3. larry bic (@larbic) - 7 years ago

    As a tvOS software beta tester and long time Apple Fanboy, my take on the AppleTV is that Apple should never, ever have released the new model. Yes, I know that is gearing up to be something great, but for now it is a disaster. In fact, as soon as I complete the test cycle on 9.1, I’m returning my unit. The lack of Bluetooth keyboard/mouse/remote support is ridiculous. I refuse to hunt and peck my way to enter credentials. Bluetooth headphone support is buried 5 layers down instead of a “home screen” simple toggle. Which is the button to “go back”, the menu or home button? Well, it depends. The remote: which way is up? Try to figure that out in a dark room. Some of the apps, the TV network apps for example, simply don’t work reliably. Scrolling around and around to access content and then to be told that I’m not authorized to view it (because they did not indicate a subscription choice until AFTER getting to select the content) or “Error–you do not have permission” when in fact I do are deal breakers. Let’s not even talk about how there’s no access for storing and retrieving anything in that 16GB “storage”. And Siri who? Apple TV4 is a functional regression. Extra computing power is wasted. AppleTV is just not ready for prime time. Yet. Better fix it fast, Apple.

    • J.latham - 7 years ago

      I would agree. The remote is horrible. I really don’t know where development went wrong on this device. I loved the look of tvOS and was really looking forward to the new box but after using it, it’s going back.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      The Apple TV doesn’t have Siri? I didn’t know that :( What a joke.

      • larry bic (@larbic) - 7 years ago

        It’s certainly has Siri, it’s just that it doesn’t work very well. I’m sure that will be fixed.

    • uniszuurmond - 7 years ago

      So far, Apple TV 4 has been a massive downgrade at a huge cost for me (our exchange rate is so bad, it costs a fortune).

      The interface is pretty, but tiring over time due to the lightness. The dark background was better. The layout is also often such that you can only see two rows of options, so it feels rather cramped (compared to the old). What used to be default and are now apps have a worse interface too. Netflix, for example, no longer shows recommendations based on current selection.

      The remote doesn’t have Siri in my country, and it’s an even bigger disappointment than the rest. The trackpad is at the top, and the click is very deep, which means my hand gets tired really quickly using the remote. Tapping to select is how I work on all other devices, but that’s not an option with the remote either. The buttons are sometimes confusing in their function, and the layout, as mentioned, confusing in the dark.

      It baffles me why they didn’t design the interface around the iPod’s clickwheel / trackwheel. You’d have 4 directions, scrolling and selecting with it, in a way that is a lot more familiar to a huge fab base. What a missed opportunity at the cost of me, the consumer. This one left me with a really bad aftertaste.

      PS: And I’m missing my optical link on the back for my home setup…

    • kjl3000 - 7 years ago

      The remote is a joke. It feels cheap and the touchpad is not innovative at all, got that for years on my Samsung tv.

  4. Robert Wilson - 7 years ago

    My biggest biggest complaint is no Bluetooth keyboard or remote app do to the poor text entry mode. The other thing bugging me is the bright background with dark text. This is compleatly incorrect for tv and home theater. It is less strain on your eyes to read light text on dark background on a lighted screen especially on big TVs. Even on devices such as phones and iPad this is actually true. See for your self. Open a page that has a lot of text and turn on invert colors and you’ll be shocked how easy it is to read.

    My final gripe is the big name apps like iheart radio and tunein radio not having an app yet for Apple TV. What the heck developers knew back in September the new Apple TV was open for apps. Both these have apps on every other streaming box, mobile device, and smart TVs. They need to get off their butts and get with the program. I know there are more that should already be on it but them the two holding me back from finally disconnecting my old roku that I bought long time ago just so I could have them two apps going to my sound system.

  5. kjl3000 - 7 years ago

    Does this version still deliver that bright light gray background? I’m so glad about my Apple TV 3 I recently bought on eBay for 30€ ! No need to upgrade for that ridiculous amount of money imo…

  6. Jirka Stejskal - 7 years ago

    Is there a way to check what apps are available for the New Apple TV? I don’t want to buy first just to check this out.

    • Peter Hillman - 7 years ago

      Nope. You have to buy the AppleTV4 to browse the tvOS App Store…then you find out all the apps are pretty much worthless. Or go to an Apple Store and play with a demo unit and browse the App Store.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

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