Apple TV's refreshed interface is coming to game consoles and TVs, adding a sidebar for navigation and a whole new store

tvOS 17.2 profiles
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Apple's tvOS 17.2 release, made available to the public last week, brought with it a number of new changes including tweaks to the main TV app. Now, those changes are expected to also make their way through to other devices that also offer their own TV app.

While the TV app is available on the Apple TV 4K and of course other Apple devices, it's also offered on a number of others that don't carry the Apple logo. There are multiple game consoles that also have the Apple TV app, while streaming sticks and smart televisions also have access to Apple's content streaming platform. Importantly, the TV app doesn't just offer Apple TV Plus streaming but also access to content associated with a user's Apple ID including TV shows and movies.

With this newly updated interface users of the Apple TV app have a few changes to look forward to, although it's possible that not all of the interface tweaks and feature changes will make their way to every version of the app depending on the hardware in question.

A new way to navigate

What Hi-Fi shared the news that Apple has confirmed a redesigned app is coming to other platforms, including supported televisions, streaming sticks like the Amazon Fire devices, and game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox.

In terms of changes, the most obvious one is likely to be the new sidebar, an area where users can go to find content including Apple TV Plus (if they're a subscriber) as well as MLS Season Pass (again, if they're a subscriber), and more. That's also where a user's library can be found, while a search button will also be present for finding specific content when required.

Another change is likely to be the revamped Store experience, with Apple having ditched the iTunes Movies and TV Shows stores from the Apple TV hardware. Now, they're both rolled into the TV app and it's expected that the same new look will come to the TV app as well. Content will continue to be available in the same 4K and HDR formats that customers are used to.

Not everything is going to make the move over, we're told. "Some of the third-party streaming integration could be limited," we're told, "as Apple won't have as much control over other companies' smart platforms as it does over its own tvOS platform." The TV app designed to run on low-power or older hardware likely won't get access to much of the new stuff either, with that version of the app simply being designed to give people a way to watch Apple TV Plus content.

A new TV app, coming soon?

The report adds that Apple hasn't given any hard information on when the new app version is going to start rolling out, but it's likely that will depend on other companies. Some platforms will work with Apple more quickly than others, and those with older TVs in particular probably shouldn't expect to benefit from the updated interface any time soon.

As for owners of the Apple TV 4K, the tvOS 17.2 update has been available for a week or so now and we'd suggest downloading it if you haven't already. Between the new menu bar and easier access to switching users, and more, this is the best tvOS release to date.

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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.