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tvOS 11 updates Apple’s TV platform with new features. This article provides tips for getting the most out of tvOS 11.
This article is intended for those who have used Apple TV and recently upgraded to tvOS 11. If you are new to Apple TV, please check out “Apple TV: The Unofficial Manual”.
Apple TV is a fixture in millions of living rooms across the globe. The TV device makes it easier to enjoy movies and TV shows, with usability that rivals any cable or satellite box. It even offers gaming capabilities surpassing most game consoles.
tvOS 11 is the latest update for Apple TV. Unlike with iOS 11, the changes in tvOS are modest and incremental. Before we get into the tips, let’s take a look at whether you should upgrade to tvOS 11.
Worth Upgrading to tvOS 11?
People will often upgrade their Apple devices the same day that a new, major operating system is released. This used to be a good idea, however, as Apple’s releases have become more ambitious, they’ve also become more buggy. Given that Apple TV is not Apple’s flagship product, tvOS is often a little rough around the edges. Having used Apple TV for 6 years now, I am well aware that it’s not as good as an iPhone, iPad or Mac. That said, tvOS 11 is actually quite stable. It seems to indicate that Apple is finally taking Apple TV seriously.
tvOS is not perfect. It is a bit more sluggish than its predecessor. Unless you have the new 4K Apple TV, you will experience some minor lag when navigating the Home screen. This lag would be normal and appropriate on non-Apple devices. If you’re used to a speedy iPhone, however, it is noticeable. One of my favorite games, Infinite Tanks, is sluggish on tvOS 11.
I also experienced an app that crashed and quit immediately upon opening. Asphalt 8: Airborne, one of the most popular racing games in the world, doesn’t work on tvOS 11 unless you reinstall it. It only took a few minutes to delete and reinstall the app. All of my player data is stored in iCloud and was very easy to restore. It’s just that I found out about this when I really wanted to play Asphalt 8 right away. App crashes like this are so rare in the Apple ecosystem. They’re really quite vexing when they occur. I’ve found that reinstalling the app usually works.
I don’t regret upgrading to tvOS 11. They solved an annoying bug that prevented Siri from controlling the Reduce Loud Sounds feature. That’s something I use a few times a day. Be advised, however, that tvOS 11 does have some performance issues. If you are really into an Apple TV game, you may want to wait until Apple improves performance. One of my favorite games, Infinite Tanks, is hardly playable. I didn’t notice much of a performance problem with Riptide GP: Renegade, even with the graphics turned all the way up. It depends on which APIs the developers use. Infinite Tanks is far more graphics-intensive than most other games.
Everything else just works. I am able to use Netflix, HBO NOW, YouTube, The CW and other content apps without issue. Not bad for a “.0” release. I’m sure Apple will fix the remaining defects and improve performance with future updates.
AirPlay has been dramatically improved with tvOS 11. Apple really let the technology fall into disrepair over the years. Music playback was plagued with dropouts and distorted sound. With the HomePod’s impending launch, however, AirPlay is now much more critical. Apple has overhauled this wireless media technology and it is now rock solid. I haven’t experienced a single dropout. next page →