Category: tvos

How to Install tvOS 15 Public Beta on Your Apple TV

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While you might not think of the software that runs on your Apple TV too often, Apple does release a major update every year. In the fall of 2021, Apple will release tvOS 15, which brings some quality-of-life improvements to the Apple TV: You’ll finally be able to log in to apps using Face ID on your iPhone, for…

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List of Apple TV Models That Support tvOS 15

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Do you own an Apple TV and you’re wondering if it will support tvOS 15, the next major software update for your device?

Along with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey, Apple also announced tvOS 15 at its annual WWDC event. With new features like SharePlay, Spatial Audio with AirPods, HomePod Mini stereo integration, and HomeKit camera enhancements, there’s enough to feel excited about the upcoming update.

Unfortunately, not every Apple TV will be capable of running tvOS 15 when it comes out.

tvOS 15 Compatible Apple TV Models

According to…

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How to Watch Apple's WWDC 2021 Keynote Presentation, and What to Expect

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Next week, Apple will again hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event. Like last year, WWDC 2021 is online-only due to the ongoing pandemic, but you can still expect the tech super-giant to make some big announcements, including our first good looks at iOS 15, macOS 12, and—if the rumors are to be…

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How to Enable / Disable Subtitles on Netflix on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV

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If you’re one of those countless people who use Netflix to watch movies and TV shows on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you’ll be pleased to know that you can indeed use subtitles while watching any Netflix content, as long as they’re available anyway.

Many people take advantage of subtitles while viewing video content on their devices for any number of reasons, ranging from hearing impairment, to language barriers, to watching foreign films, to watching a movie or show quietly, to help in comprehension, to aid foreign language learning, amongst many…

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How to Enroll in the iOS 13, macOS Catalina, and iPadOS Public Betas

The public betas for iOS 13, macOS Catalina, iPadOS, and tvOS 13 are finally available. Here’s a quick recap of how to sign up, and what testers can expect from these beta builds.

How to sign up for and download iOS 13, macOS Catalina, iPadOS, and tvOS

In order to receive access to each beta, you’ll need to sign up to Apple’s Beta Software Progam, which requires an Apple ID (naturally).

  1. Open the Apple Beta Program page on whatever device you want the beta (and use the Safari browser to make this easy).
  2. Click “Sign up” and use your Apple ID to sign in
  3. Accept the user agreement.
  4. Select the beta you wish to enroll in, then scroll down to the “Get Started” section and click the “enroll you [device]” link.
  5. Apple will give you some additional instructions to follow. The short version: You’ll have to install a beta profile to your device, which will then unlock the beta as a regular Software Update—found within your device’s settings menu.

What to expect

While these betas only recently became open to the public, the dev community (and Lifehacker readers) have been able to play around with them for a bit longer. If you’re just getting started, we’ve published lots of stories about the latest and greatest features available in iOS 13, macOS Catalina, and iPadOS. (And if you’re interested in how iOS 13 is shaping up against its Google-y competitor, here’s how the iOS 13 and Android Q betas compare.)

As we always say about installing beta software, these operating systems are still being finalized. You’ll probably run into bugs, glitches, and find that some apps aren’t yet supported. While you probably shouldn’t run the beta on your primary device—especially if you need it to always be operational for, say, your job—the public beta is at least a little bit more stable than the first developer betas for these operating systems. (Not perfect, just better.)

Should you join the public beta, be sure to be a good tester and report any bugs or other feedback through Apple’s Feedback Assistant page (or app). If you’re simply giving the new operating systems a test run, be sure to follow Apple’s backup steps—do not forget to make a backup of your device before you install the beta—so you can undo the updates and keep most of your data intact if you ever want to roll back to iOS 12. (You can also find backup and restore options for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV in Apple’s beta software program information.)


How to Install the Latest Apple Betas if You’re Not a Developer

Screenshot: David Murphy

It’s time to try out all the new features and tweaks Apple has been cooking up back in its Cupertino labs—if you’re a developer, that is. While Apple is now previewing the latest and greatest versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS as betas, you can only (officially) access them if you’re paying Apple $99 a year to partake in its developer program.

It’s a little trickier than it used to be to get yourself enrolled in the developer betas if you’re not a developer, but it’s still possible. The usual caveats apply, though. First off, these are early, early versions of Apple’s newest operating systems, a fact Apple highlights on its developer site:

Screenshot: David Murphy

Second, you’ll be downloading the various beta profiles (or .IPSW firmwares) from a third-party site. That’s not a thing you’ll normally want to do, for security’s sake. I’m not going to make a big stink about it, though, because if you’re not bothered by your device potentially bricking from an early operating system beta, you probably don’t care how you’re getting these files. (I’m hoping you aren’t planning to install iOS 13 on your primary smartphone, but I’m not going to stop you, either.)

macOS Catalina / iOS 13 / iPadOS 13

We’ll start with macOS Catalina, because you currently need to install it first before you can slap iOS 13 on your iPad or iPhone. (A beta profile for iOS devices wasn’t available as of this article’s writing, so we have to do things the old-fashioned way.)

To get started with macOS Catalina, head on over to and grab the macOS Catalina Beta Profile.

Install that on your Mac, which is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’re done, you’ll be immediately asked if you would like to start downloading macOS 10.15, otherwise known as macOS Catalina.

Screenshot: David Murphy

The download and installation process should take a bit of time, but it’s all routine. Once you’re done and you’re up in your brand-new version of macOS Catalina, there’s one more step you’ll want to take. Some iOS 13 users have reported that you might also need the latest beta of Xcode on your system before you can install iOS 13 on your device. (For safety’s sake, I went through this process without testing to see if it was necessary, so feel free to try installing iOS 13 without it if you want.)

Installing the Xcode 11 beta is simple. To start, grab it from Apple’s page. You’ll have to sign in with your Apple ID, but you won’t need a developer account to download and install the beta. (The archive you download took my system some time to expand, FYI.)

When you’re ready to get crackin’ with iOS 13, I don’t believe you even have to open up the beta version of Xcode first, but you can do that as a side step if you’re feeling tentative. Go find your iPad or iPhone, grab your charging cable, get whatever dongles you need to use to connect it to your Mac (if applicable), and plug it in.

Since this is macOS Catalina—killer of iTunes—you’ll now need to pull up Finder to access your connected device.

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you’ve done that, go back to your browser and revisit You’ll now want to click on the iOS 13 IPSW link—again, a simple beta profile for your device wasn’t available when I wrote this article—and grab the correct file for your specific device. If you can’t remember what generation of iPad you have, for example, you can always pull up Settings > General > About, and then type your device’s “Model Number” into your favorite search engine to figure out exactly what it is.

Screenshot: David Murphy

If you’re finding that the betaprofiles is taking way too long to download your .IPSW file, you can always use another site to grab the same file—I like and, personally. (The latter allows you to download it directly from Apple, too, which makes me feel a lot better.)

Once you’ve downloaded the correct .IPSW firmware file to your Mac, pull up Finder again. You should still be looking at your connected device but, if not, click over to that. Before you get started with the iOS 13 update, you’ll need to disable “Find My” on your device. As well, now is a great time to make a local backup of your device in case everything goes horribly wrong. Click on “This Computer” and select “Encrypt local backup,” then click on “Back Up Now” to do that.

(I also recommend having a recent iCloud backup of your device, as that makes it easy to set up your device with all your apps and settings once you’ve installed iOS 13.)

Once you’re ready, hold down the Option key on your keyboard, click on Restore iPhone/iPad, and then go find the .IPSW file you downloaded. Get ready for some fun, as your device will do the usual rebooting-and-updating process to install iOS 13.

You’ll then go through the standard iOS setup process, which will also include asking if you’d like to set up your device using other nearby Apple devices—a nice little timesaver—as well as whether you’d like to restore from the recent iCloud backup I hope you made.

watchOS 6

Compared to the process it took to get macOS Catalina and iOS 13 installed, this is going to feel trivial. Pull up your iPad or iPhone, fire up the Safari browser you’ve long since forgotten about, and navigate over to betaprofiles. Click on the link for the watchOS 6 beta profile and install that on your device. It’s as easy as that. You’ll now be able to use the normal update mechanism in the Watch app to download and install watchOS 6.

There’s one caveat to this process, however. I haven’t installed iOS 13 on my iPhone, but I did install watchOS 6 on my Apple Watch. Now, I get semi-frequent notifications that I need to update my Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS—even though it’s running that—which I suspect has to do with the fact that my iPhone is still on iOS 12. It’s not a huge annoyance, and you can easily ignore the occasional prompt, but it might be enough to get you to wait until the full public betas for all of Apple’s operating systems drop later this month / early next month.

tvOS 13

I don’t have an Apple TV, so I haven’t done this process myself. However, betaprofiles has a great, quick guide containing everything you need to know about getting the tvOS 13 beta on your device:

  • Open the Settings app and move to General – Privacy – Send Apple TV Analytics.
  • When you have Share Apple TV Analytics selected, don’t click on it. Instead, press the Play/Pause button on the remote and it will open the Add Profile menu, press Play/Pause button again on this option.
  • n the text field that pops up, type (This is a short link, it’s completely safe), then click Done and select Install.
  • When you are prompted to reboot do so.
  • The software should then appear in Settings – System – Software Update. Additionally, you can still download the file to your computer for manual installation.

If you want to go the manual route—installing the update via Xcode—Apple has great instructions on its website:

  • Download the tvOS beta software configuration profile for the new Apple TV from the download page on your Mac.
  • Make sure you are running the latest version of Xcode 10 or later on your Mac as well as macOS 10.13.4 or later.
  • Check that your Apple TV is plugged in and turned on.
  • Connect your Apple TV and Mac to the same network.
  • In Xcode, choose Window > Devices and Simulators, then in the window that appears, click Devices.
  • On Apple TV, open Settings, then choose Remotes and Devices > Remote App and Devices. Apple TV searches for possible pairing devices.
  • In Xcode, select your Apple TV in the left column under Discovered. The status of the Apple TV connection request appears in the detail area.
  • Enter the verification code displayed on Apple TV and click Connect. Xcode pairs with Apple TV and a network icon appears next to your Apple TV in the left column.
  • Make sure your Mac is running the latest version of Apple Configurator.
  • Open Apple Configurator.
  • To set up an Apple TV for the first time, click Prepare and follow the onscreen instructions. To add profiles for an Apple TV that you’ve previously set up, click Add, then select Profiles. You can also drag a profile from the Finder and drop it on the icon of your Apple TV.