Alongside yesterdays slew of updates for HomePod, iPhone and Apple Watch – tvOS 12 was also released for the Apple TV fourth generation and Apple TV 4K. Like all the other Apple software this year, it was also announced at WWDC 2018 back in June and unlike iOS 12 and watchOS 5 there isn’t actually much new here.

What’s new?

The big notable features are:

Support for Dolby Atmos surround sound audio.
Apple TV is now the only TV box to support both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. iTunes Movies will get updated, for free once the versions with Dolby Atmos released. Much like Apple did last year with iTunes 4K HDR movies.

New aerial screensavers

Apple has partnered up with NASA to provide some new stunning screensavers for Apple TV, they were all shot from space by NASA astronauts from the ISS.

Apple is partnering with cable companies

With tvOS 12, Apple has announced that they are partnering with Charter Communications in the United States to provide Apple TV 4K units to its customers. Apple has said that:

Later this year, customers in nearly 50 million households will have access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programs via an all-new Spectrum TV app on their Apple TV 4K, iPhone and iPad, seamlessly integrated with Siri and the Apple TV App


In the United States, AT&T currently offering Apple TV 4K with its DirecTV Now service and this joins CANAL+ inn France and Salt in Switzerland.

How to update

Apple TVs will eventually update automatically, sometimes it can take a few days or weeks once the update it released to actually install on your Apple TV. But you can download and update it manually. tvOS 12 will only work on the Apple TV forth generation from 2015 and the Apple TV 4K from 2017.

To update go to Settings > General > Software Update