The Most Recent Apple TV Beta Software Brings iCloud Family Sharing to the Living Room
Introduced alongside Apple’s second iOS 8 beta release, the Cupertino California company recently issued the first beta version of its upcoming Apple TV Software Update. This update activates the new iCloud-based Family Sharing function which is set to debut this Fall. Originally introduced at WWDC as a tentpole feature for iOS 8, Family Sharing allows up to six family members to access each other’s purchased content from any registered device running iOS 8 or OS X 10.10 Yosemite. With native support on Apple TV, this means video, music and more can be viewed on a large TV screen without connected to the streaming box via AirPlay.
With its latest Apple TV Software beta, Apple is currently limiting support to third-gen Apple TVs, suggesting that owners of older models such as the second-gen variant may be left out when the update makes its public debut. Some speculate that Apple has been forced to leave out legacy models as software advancements have advanced past the capabilities of older components like the A4 SoC.
Based on information from the release notes, there are a few issues with the first Apple TV Software beta including intermittent stuttering (dropped frames0 or complete playback stoppage. In some of the cases, the Apple TV may crash and return to the main menu after purchasing a music video as well. These issues are likely going to be resolved before the official public release.
Along with Family Sharing, Apple also tweaked the main menu’s iconography to “flatter” graphics similar to those seen in iOS and the upcoming Yosemite.