What to know about tvOS 15 developer beta
- tvOS 15 is compatible with the latest Apple TV 4K (2021), the first-gen Apple TV 4K (2017), and the Apple TV 4th gen (2015).
- To download tvOS 15 beta, you’ll need a Mac, Apple Configurator, and the latest version of Xcode.
Apple has announced the latest tvOS 15 beta version for developers to test. It boasts some pretty exciting features such as:
- A redesigned Playback UI that provides convenient access to relevant controls and information with a new Transport Bar, Title View, Transport Bar Controls, Content Tabs, and Contextual Actions.
- SharePlay and Shared with You that make your entertainment viewing experience more social
- Spatial Audio for select movies and shows
- Apple Music integration
- Setting HomePod mini as your default Apple TV speaker
- Siri commands to play movies and shows on-demand through the HomePod mini.
- The ability to view multiple HomeKit cameras at once in a grid view
- The ability to authorize purchases using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad.
The latest tvOS beta can be installed on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV 4th gen, but it is a bit complicated than simply downloading and installing. So let’s look at what you need and how to install the tvOS 15 beta on Apple TV.
Note: Unlike other Apple devices, you cannot back up your Apple TV. You have two options to update tvOS:
- Over the air, which just updates the operating system and leaves your TV configuration and apps unaffected.
- Via USB-C (only for Apple TV 4th generation), which restores your device to its factory settings.
How to download tvOS 15 developer beta on Apple TV HD and 4K
This process will only update the system software. Your apps and configurations on your Apple TV should remain unaffected.
- Go to developer.apple.com on your Mac.
- Click Discover and select tvOS.
- Log in with your developer username and password.
- Scroll down and click the Download button on the right of the tvOS 15 beta configuration profile. Save it to your Desktop.
- Install the Apple Configurator app from the Mac App Store.
- Connect your Apple TV 4th generation or 4K to AC power and the same wireless network as your Mac.
- Open the latest version of Xcode on your Mac.
- In the Menu bar, click Window and select Devices and Simulators.
- Go to Settings on your Apple TV.
- Select Remotes and Devices.
- Select Remote App and Devices.
- In Xcode on your Mac, select your Apple TV once it appears under Discovered in the left column.
- To pair Xcode with your Apple TV, enter the code that appears on your TV.
- Once paired, open Apple Configurator on your Mac.
If it is your first time setting up Apple TV, click Prepare and follow on-screen instructions.
- If you have already set up Apple TV and are now adding profiles, you need to click Add → Profiles.
- Alternatively, you can drag and drop the tvOS 15 Configuration Profile from your Desktop to the Apple TV icon in Apple Configurator. This will configure Apple TV for tvOS 15.
Your Apple TV will then detect the new tvOS and download and install it just like any other update.
Install the tvOS beta restore image over USB-C (Apple TV 4th-gen only)
If you own Apple TV 4th generation, you can use another method to install tvOS 15.
Note: This process will restore your Apple TV to factory settings.
- Go to the developer’s download page on your Mac.
- Download the tvOS beta software restore image for Apple TV 4th generation.
- Launch Finder and connect your Apple TV 4th generation to your Mac with a USB-C cable.
- Select your Apple TV when it appears in the Finder.
- Press and hold the Option key and click the Restore Apple TV button in the Summary panel.
- Select the tvOS beta software restore image you downloaded and click Open to start the installation.
- Once the beta is installed, your device will reboot and need a network connection to complete activation.
Now you know how to install the tvOS beta. It boasts impressive new features, but remember that beta versions may also contain bugs that will prevent the normal use of your device.
So I strongly urge you to download the tvOS 15 beta update only if you need it for testing and software development. For regular use, wait until Apple releases the official version of the software.