While the recent release of tvOS 10 contains much-welcome features like improved Siri support and the new "Dark Mode" appearance setting, perhaps the most exciting changes lie "beneath-the-surface" in the form of expanded developer access to the software frameworks running the Apple TV. Support for back-end frameworks such as notifications, photos, and homekit means a flood of new and innovative Apple TV apps are sure to be right around the corner!
You’ve Got Messages!
Digging through tvOS 10 this week, I noticed a new "Notifications" tab nestled in the Settings app. Clicking on the new tab does not reveal any new info, although it’s appearance does indicate Apple expects developers to be put this feature to use in short order. For those of you unaware, Notifications is part of a new tvOS framework called "UserNotifications" which allows an app to support the "delivery and handling of local and remote notifications." Including support for Notifications means your favorite apps could soon be capable of posting personalized reminders and alerts directly to your tv screen! As someone who enjoys cranking the surround sound during a good action flick, I would certainly appreciate the option of being able to receive an on-screen alert letting me know my iPhone is ringing!
Support for Notifications means your favorite apps could soon be capable of posting personalized reminders and alerts directly to your tv screen!
The Photos framework now included with tvOS 10 provides "direct access to the photo and video assets managed by the Photos app, including the iCloud Photo Library." For tvOS, I imagine this means we can look forward to a variety of apps designed for viewing, sharing, and perhaps even editing our photos and videos directly on the Apple TV!
Siri, Dims the Lights!
With 2017 looking to finally see big gains in home automation, Apple’s homekit framework for tvOS 10 means you’ll be able to use your Siri remote to do everything from dimming the lights, to adjusting your thermostat, to locking your doors and arming the security system - all from the comfort of your living room couch!
"We believe the future of tv is apps!" —Apple CEO Tim Cook, 2015
With tvOS 10, Apple is giving developers much greater access to the underpinnings which power the Apple TV, helping fulfill Tim Cook's 2015 prophesy regarding how people will use and interact with the largest screen in the house.