tvOS is Apple's dedicated operating system for the Apple TV. It offers a host of features tailored for the home, while retaining many familiar elements that make it work so well with the iPhone, iPad and Mac. 

The software has made steady steps forward in recent years, with 2019's tvOS 13 adding lot of extra functionality. 

Now, with tvOS 14, Apple aims to take some of its most popular experiences to the next level. 

tvOS 14 release date

tvOS 14 was unveiled at WWDC 2020 on 22 June 2020, alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur.

A public beta will be available in July, before tvOS 14 arrives in the 'Fall'.

A more specific release date is yet to be confirmed, although we can take some clues from the release schedule of tvOS 13. After unveiling at WWDC 2019 in June, we had to wait until late September for it to become available. 

As such, September 2020 is looking like the most likely release window for tvOS 14. 

tvOS 14 devices

As with tvOS 13, tvOS 14 will be available on all versions of Apple TV that support an App Store. Currently, that's the fourth-gen and 4K models, as well as any new Apple TV that gets released. 

New features in tvOS 14

So, what's new in tvOS 14?

Improved multi-user support

tvOS 13 brought multi-user support to the Apple TV for the very first time, and its successor will shift that focus to gaming. 

tvOS 14 will be able to keep track of individual achievements for all users, while Apple Arcade games will instantly resume from where you left them. Importantly, this will apply even if multiple users have the same game open. 

That gaming focus extends to controllers, where tvOS 14 will now support the Xbox Elite Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive controllers. These join the Xbox One and PS4 (DualShock 4) controllers in being supported by Apple TV. 

Multi-user support will also bring tailored TV recommendations for each user. 

Redesigned Control Center

Following on from the multi-user support, the Control Center UI has had a significant refresh. It now looks a lot more like what you'll find on iOS and iPad OS, with the crucial addition of user profiles at the top of the window. 

New home security features

Apple TVs often output onto a very large screen, making them ripe for home security integration. 

tvOS 14 will make further improvements in this area, with the option to display feeds from home security cameras on your TV via the new HomeKit app. For cameras with facial recognition support, your Apple TV will also be able to recognise who is at the door. 

Picture-in-picture

A dedicated picture-in-picture function is coming to tvOS 14, meaning videos will continue playing in the corner of your screen even when you exit the app. 

This makes it great for multi-tasking, particularly considering the feature will also have native support in iOS 14. 

Potential use cases include watching live sport while doing a home workout, or playing a game while monitoring the back garden.   

Improved photo and audio sharing

Seamless sharing of media between devices is one of the hallmarks of the Apple ecosystem, and it's taking a step forward with tvOS 14. 

With AirPlay, the Photos app on the iPhone or iPad will be able to display photos and videos in up to 4K resolution. 

Audio sharing means you can seamlessly move what you're listening to between your devices.

This means audio playing on your iPhone, iPad or Mac can move to your Apple TV at the touch of a button. Now, you can resume your favourite show on the big screen without ever having to take your AirPods out. 

How to update tvOS

Updating your Apple TV to tvOS 14 is likely to be the same as with previous versions. To do so, just head to Settings on your Apple TV and choose System > Software Updates > Update Software.

If a new version is available, click Download and Install > Update Now. 

You may be prompted to download the update without heading into Settings, or your device may even update automatically. 

For more information, check out our dedicated guide to How to update Apple TV software.