First tvOS 17 public beta release is now available — here's where to get it

tvOS 17
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has today released the first tvOS 17 public beta, making it available to people who aren't developers but also don't want to wait for the update to roll out to everyone this fall.

The tvOS 17 update was first shown off at the WWDC 2023 event in June and has been available in the form of various developer betas ever since. But this is the first time that Apple has rolled the same software out to people who are on the public beta program.

Signing up to that public beta program is easy, but downloaders of tvOS 17 should remember that this is indeed a beta in more than just name — problems can arise and apps may not work as expected. Keep that in mind before downloading this update.

tvOS 17 for everyone

Downloading the tvOS 17 beta begins by heading to the Apple Beta Software Program and signing up using an Apple ID. From there installing tvOS 17 is a breeze, and while it isn't the biggest Apple TV update ever, there are some things to look forward to.

At the very top of that list is support for FaceTime. Using an iPhone and Continuity Camera, Apple TV owners can make FaceTime calls on the big screen for the first time.

There are more improvements, of course. They include Split View which will allow Apple TV owners to watch TV shows and movies with people on those FaceTime calls,  while a redesigned Control Center is also included.

The tvOS 17 update also promises to make it easier to hear what people are saying thanks to a new feature that will enhance dialog whenever connected to a pair of second-generation HomePods.

If that sounds good you can of course download the beta now. Owners of the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD can also choose to download tvOS 17 this fall should they decide that the beta life isn't for them.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.