Apple's tvOS Gets Multi-User Support for Personalised Recommendations

Mike Wheatley

Apple’s revamped tvOS took center stage at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week, with CEO Tim Cook announcing several exciting new features including multi-user support for personalised recommendations.


The unveiling of Apple tvOS 13 was preceded by a trailer for a new TV show that’s due to premiere on Apple’s video streaming service when it debuts later this year. Called “For All Mankind”, the sci-fi series has been produced exclusively for Apple, and centres on what would happen if the Soviet Union had beaten the US to land the first man on the moon, leading to a never-ending space race between the two superpowers.

The new show is one of several exclusives planned for the Apple TV+ streaming service, which is due to launch this autumn. But video games fans will be far more interested in the news that tvOS 13 brings compatibility with both Xbox and PlayStation controllers, enabling them to work with the new Apple Arcade gaming service.

In addition, Apple Arcade users will also be able to pair their Xbox or PlayStation controllers wirelessly with their Apple TV, the company said. Apple Arcade will work on Apple TV, iOS and Mac computers, and will offer 100 titles at launch.

The new tvOS 13 also comes with a new home screen that aims to make Apple’s content offerings more prominent. One nifty feature is that trailers will autoplay as soon as users hover the cursor over the name of a title, similar to what Netflix already does.

The multi-user functionality is another welcome bonus. Family members can now have their own accounts and see personalised recommendations for themselves, based on their past viewing habits. The multi-user support also ties into Apple Music and other services, Apple said.

Apple Music on Apple TV also gets an update with a new scrolling lyrics feature to help them sing along to their favourite hits. Along with the lyrics, users will also get personalised song recommendations.

"tvOS powers the Apple TV 4K experience and continues to set the standard for home entertainment," said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. "With more personalized features to enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies, photos and music, expanded gaming support and stunning new screen savers, tvOS 13 delivers the most complete entertainment experience to everyone in the home."

Last but not least, some stunning new screensavers are in store, thanks to Apple’s collaboration with BBC Natural History to provide underwater shots in 4K HDR quality.


Apple said tvOS 13 will be released in the autumn. It didn’t give an exact date, but it’s assumed the launch will coincide with the debut of Apple TV+.