Most important features coming to tvOS 12

I use my Apple TV every day. It's pretty much my main entertainment device — aside from maybe my Nintendo Switch - and I find it one of the best ways to consume media. It's super easy to buy or rent all my movies, catch up on the latest news with my favorite apps, and even play some casual games.

Although, tvOS 12 isn't bringing as many upgrades to the Apple TV as some of Apple's other platforms, there are still some reasons to get excited!

Dolby Atmos support

Obviously, this is probably the biggest news about tvOS 12 that most people will be excited about, and with good reason.

The Apple TV 4K already has Dolby Vision and with the addition of Dolby Atmos, its the first streaming device that will have both technologies, making it pretty much the top dog in the streaming world. Plus, if you've ever heard a surround sound system that is using Dolby Atmos, it sounds insanely good.

Of course, to take full advantage of Dolby Atmos, you need speakers that are compatible with the technology, which for me means I know what's going on my Christmas wishlist!

Zero Sign-On

It seems like just yesterday that Apple announced the single sign-on feature that allowed you to only have to enter your credentials just once, instead of with each app individually the idea, nevertheless zero sign-on is the bee's knees now!

Zero sign-on will allow the apps of TV providers will automatically log you in if you're one of their broadband customers. Zero sign-on will be officially coming to tvOS 12 later this year and Charter Spectrum (and its Spectrum TV app) will be the first supported service. Most likely, the zero sign-on feature will be embraced by other providers and I can't wait to just have my tv subscription apps load up ready to go with no waiting!

New screensaver photos

Okay, you can laugh all you want, but those aerial screenshots that you can use as the Apple TV screen saver are gorgeous, and I'm super excited for the new ones!

Thanks to some photography-loving astronauts on the International Space Station, Apple has put together stunning backgrounds for your Apple TV screensaver from orbit!

One other feature that's been added is the ability to see the location of where each photograph was taken appears on with just the tap of your Siri Remote while the screensaver is running. You can also swipe to see more screensaver options.

Are you excited for tvOS 12?

Let us know what features you're looking forward too in tvOs 12 in the comments down below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • Has there been mention if the Atmos feature will also be applied to Atmos capable receivers for those with theater setups and not just Atmos enabled speakers or sound bars?
  • This is the second article where I've seen the author state that the speakers have to be compatible with Dolby Atmos. It's not the speakers, it's the receiver that needs to be compatible so it can decode the signal from the AppleTV or other device (connected via HDMI) and then send the audio signals out to the actual speakers connected to it. If you're talking about something like a sound bar with a built-in decoder that you'd plug the HDMI cable into, that's still not a plain speaker. I have never heard of a plain old two-wire speaker that is "Atmos compatible". If there really is such a thing, please let me know and provide some examples. But if not, can you update the article with the correct information? Potential buyers who read are going to be mightily confused if they come home with a $3000-$4000 set of Paradigm or B&O or other high-end speakers and find they don't work as expected because they're using an older receiver that doesn't decode Atmos.
  • I’m really unsure what there is to be exited about in tvOS 12. Slightly fancier sound, if you invest in fancy speakers is the leading feature, and that probably appeals to a minor percentage of users. You know things aren’t exciting when a new screensaver is a leading feature. I’ve installed 10.14 and iOS 12 beta but my Apple TVs are staying on tvOS 11 until September.