Apple formally announces tvOS 11

On Monday, Apple held the opening keynote for its WWDC 2017 event. While it announced the next major iterations of iOS, macOS, and watchOS, tvOS was notably missing. Instead, the company held a separate session today called "What's new in tvOS", where it formally announced tvOS 11.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that there's a reason that it wasn't included in the main keynote; this isn't as major of an update as iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, or watchOS 4.

One of the features that Apple announced is a change to On-Demand Resources, or ODR. This allows developers to make apps that are small to download, and can download more content as they need it, and the maximum bundle size has been increased from 200MB to 4GB.

This seems like something that would be useful if Apple intends to have a greater emphasis on gaming in a future device that it might be planning.

Another improvement is support for right-to-left languages, which has been included in iOS and macOS for years. Apple says that it's built into TVML, so it should just work.

Some of the new features are much more subtle. Developers now have the option of adding buttons that aren't transparent, and they can add background colors. There's also a blurOverFullScreen element, which gives developers the same ability to blur the entire screen that the system has when, say, you go to put your Apple TV to sleep.

Another new element that's worth mentioning is preferredUserInterfaceStyle, which gives the developer the ability to work better with different themes, and choose a theme if it's unspecified by the user.

The video of the session isn't available just yet, but when it is, you'll be able to find it here. While tvOS 11 will ship this fall, a developer beta is available now, and a public beta will be coming later on this month.

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