tvOS 10 FAQ: Everything you need to know!

tvOS 10 is coming this fall, but Apple has already given us a preview. While it may be called "tvOS 10", it's really the first major update to the new Apple TV, and to what Apple calls the "future of television. That means there's a lot that's new and exciting. Also, potentially confusing. So, if you have questions, we have answers! Here's everything you need to know about tvOS 10!

What, where, and how to get tvOS 10

Developers can download the tvOS 10 beta right now. For everyone else, we'll get it publicly this fall.

Wait, how did tvOS get to 10?

tvOS is derived from iOS. The original came from iOS 9, so it was tvOS 9. The latest comes from iOS 10, so it's tvOS 10.

Sure, watchOS also comes from iOS, and that got it's own version 1, but none of that really matters. The number is whatever Apple wants it to be, and Apple wants it to be 10.

So what is tvOS 10?

It's the new version of the operating system software that runs on the current Apple TV hardware (4th generation, released in 2015).

Which versions of Apple TV are compatible with tvOS 10?

Only the latest, 4th generation version, as mentioned above. That's the 2015 Apple TV that comes in 32 GB and 64 GB capacities.

So my 2010 and 2012 Apple TV…

… won't be getting it. No. Sorry.

I have a 2015 Apple TV, where can I get tvOS 10?

If you're a developer, you can get the beta starting today. Otherwise, you'll be able to get the release version later this fall.

Will there be a public beta for tvOS 10?

Apple only announced that the developer beta is available now and the update will be available publicly this fall.

How will I be able to upgrade to tvOS 10?

You'll be able to upgrade to tvOS 10 right on your Apple TV. If you have automatic updates turned on, you'll get it as soon as it's ready. Otherwise you'll be able to go to Settings and manually start the tvOS 10 upgrade process.

Will I need a certain amount of free space on my Apple TV to download tvOS 10?

Apple TV uses on-demand storage, so as it downloads and installs, it'll remove older, less frequently used assets, levels, and other apps data to make room. (Which will re-download automatically if/when you next launch any of those apps.)

Will tvOS 10 be free?

Yes! Totally free!

New Siri search functions

Siri has even more searchable terms than ever before with the ability to search for such things as movie topics and themes, like "Search for 80s high school comedies."

With tvOS 10, you can ask Siri to search in YouTube for general terms, like "Search YouTube for epic fail videos."

With Live tune-in, you can have Siri automatically connect you to the live stream of a specific channel directly by saying something like, "Watch CBS News."

The update also includes support for Siri with HomeKit, so you can have Siri turn on lights, set the temperature, and control accessories when you are gone or with the Home app on iPhone.

New Remote app

Apple's Remote app, which works with Apple TV, is headed for some big changes, the biggest of which involve Siri search for Apple TV on the iOS app, just like the Siri Remote. It will also get a completely redesigned interface and will work as a game controller using your iPhone's internal accelerometer and gyroscope.

Single Sign-On

We've all had that familiar experience when we download and open a new media app, like YouTube or HBO GO. We have to open a web browser on our computer or mobile device and enter a code that appears in the Apple TV app in order to log into our account. It's too many steps and we sometimes just give up and never actually access the app.

In tvOS 10, Apple makes it much easier to log into your apps with Single Sign-On for pay-TV apps. You can sign into one network app on Apple TV and any other app from participating pay-TV apps will automatically update with your account info.

This feature is dependent on whether networks want to include it in their apps.

Single Sign-on will also be available on iOS 10.

Dark Mode

Apple has listened to the masses and given us Dark Mode with tvOS 10. You can switch between light and dark themed backgrounds in the Settings app.

Automatic download of universal apps

Thanks to the tvOS 10 update, if we download an app on iOS that is supported on Apple TV, it will automatically download to Apple TV and show up on the Home screen.

Apple Music

Apple unveiled a complete redesign for Apple Music that includes new section tabs, a new "Downloaded Music" section, lyrics for songs, and a whole lot more. The newly designed Apple Music interface will roll out to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Android devices.

Barely mentioned features

Apple is opening up Apple TV to developers with tvOS APIs and tools for developers for ReplayKit, which supports recording and live broadcasts in apps, PhotoKit, which allows third-party app access to photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Shared Stream, and HomeKit for creating apps to control HomeKit accessories from Apple TV.

Apple TV will also get support for up to four game controllers at a time and multiplayer game sessions.

The bottom line

We'll be updating this FAQ as Apple announces more information about tvOS 10. Bookmark, save, and share it, and check back often for more.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, ask away in the comments and we'll answer as best as we can!

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).