Apple adds multiuser support to tvOS, kills off iTunes

Apple is rolling out tvOS 13 for its Apple TV streaming devices, which will soon get a redesigned home screen, multi-user support and support for Apple Arcade.

The home screen update is geared toward discovery, and will allow apps to play full-screen video previews.

Updates to the Apple TV Control Center will allow for switching between family members, so users get their own personalized experience, including unique Up Next list and TV and movie recommendations. The Control Center also provides quicker access to Apple TV features including system sleep and audio routing.

Apple is also making changes to tvOS to support its upcoming subscription cloud gaming service Apple Arcade, which is launching in the fall. The service will provide up to six users with unlimited access to more 100 new and exclusive games, all with no ads or additional purchases. Apple Arcade games will be available across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV.

Apple will have competition in the cloud gaming space from Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s upcoming Project xCloud. In anticipation, tvOS 13 is adding support for Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4 wireless controllers.

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Apple Arcade and the updates to tvOS demonstrate Apple’s amplified focus on services, including the recently launched Apple channels streaming video aggregation hub and the upcoming Apple TV+, which will house Apple’s original content.

In anticipation of the Apple TV+ launch, Apple provided the first extended look at one of its original series, “For All Mankind.”

Apple is also preparing for its renewed focus on services by killing off the iTunes app on MacOS, and splitting its functions across the Apple Music, TV and Podcasts apps. The change will bring MacOS closer in line to how iOS already works.