tvOS 17.4 RC now available to Apple TV users

Mike Powers

With tvOS 17.4 RC now available, Apple doesn’t have notable features for this software update. However, this beta cycle was full of references for unreleased products and operating systems. With beta 1, the company added references to unreleased homeOS software.

Most likely, this software could be used for a HomePod with a screen. Bloomberg and other outlets have reported on a HomePod with iPad integration, like an Amazon Echo Show product. Apple is also apparently working on a HomePod with a circular display. That said, instead of the current wave animations that we have on the HomePod, we could see music and weather data, for example.

That would come in handy, as tvOS 17.4 beta was adding a SharePlay feature for Apple Music. iPhone users could scan a QR code on the Apple Music app for the Apple TV and join a SharePlay session to add songs to a list and create a listening party. Unfortunately, Apple removed this function in previous betas.

Besides that, tvOS 17.4 RC also hints at a new HomePod with a screen. 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito found references to an upcoming HomePod with a screen, which is in an “advanced stage of development.” According to Espósito, here’s what he could find with tvOS 17.4 beta:

  • This unreleased device is identified as Z314
  • It is powered by an A15 Bionic chip (which both the newest Apple TV 4K and the iPad mini 6 also are)
  • tvOS 17.4 beta 3 adds support to new SwiftUI frameworks for the HomePod, including a tool used to debug unresponsive UI in iOS apps.

This all leads the journalist to believe Apple is indeed working on a HomePod with a screen.

Alongside tvOS 17.4 RC, Apple is also seeding the Release Candidate version of macOS 14.4, visionOS 1.1, and watchOS 10.4. BGR will let you know if we learn anything new about this or any other upcoming operating system update.

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