tvOS 17.1: New Music and audio features plus everything else that's new

Apple TV 4K 2022 box on a counter
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

The Apple TV is one of the very best streaming boxes around and Apple keeps adding new features via software updates. The tvOS 17 update only landed in September 2023, but there is already another major release for Apple TV owners to download.

That new update is tvOS 17.1, a release that can now be downloaded by everyone after a weeks-long beta program saw developers put it through its paces. And now that it's available to everyone who wants it, this is your chance to take its new features for a spin.

Unfortunately, as has become the norm for these tvOS updates, those new features are few. But we'll cover what's changed here, so you know just where to look when you're all updated.

Music favoriting

Apple TV 4K review

(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

With tvOS 17.1 installed users can now start to favorite songs, playlists, albums, and more while there are some other minor tweaks to the way the app functions.

If you were hoping for a big revamp of the Music app you're unfortunately going to be left disappointed. However, the new favoriting feature is an improvement and makes it easier to add songs to your library for later listening and algorithm training.

Enhance Dialogue

The hardware and interface for Apple TV 4K in 2022.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

The only other major change of note is the expansion of the Enhance Dialogue feature that was added to the Apple TV via the tvOS 17 update. When enabled, the Enhance Dialogue feature boosts the audio when people speak on-screen, making it easier to hear them

However, at launch, the feature only worked with the second-generation HomePod. Now, that's been expanded to also include the original HomePod and the HomePod mini for the first time. 

If you've ever found yourself struggling to make out what people say in TV shows and movies, this might well be the answer that you've been looking for. Especially if you already have a pair of HomePod minis that you can repurpose.

Everything else of note

As for other improvements, they are sadly lacking. As mentioned, Apple TV software updates aren't huge in terms of new additions, especially outside of the big annual updates. That means that we're likely to have to wait until September of 2024 before any big new, meaningful additions are made.

However, if you're looking for new features to try and own an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch, there are some to be had from their own updates. There are the iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, macOS 14.1, and tvOS 17.1 updates available alongside HomePod software version 17.1 and we would suggest installing them as soon as possible to try out new features like enhanced AirDrop on the iPhone, Double Tap on some Apple Watches, and a whole lot more.

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.