As you may already know by now, yesterday Apple seeded the first developer beta of tvOS 11.2. This platform doesn’t always get the recognition that it deserves, especially when pre-release seeds of iOS and watchOS generally come out at the same time which have a much higher install and interest base.

However, given that tvOS powers both Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K, it’s definitely worth giving the platform the respect it deserves and seeing exactly what is new with this latest release.

Before we dive in and actually see how the changes manifest themselves through the real-world usage of Apple TV, it’s worth taking a cursory glance at Apple’s official release notes for this latest pre-release seed to see exactly how the company’s engineers word the amendments. Apple generally errs on the side of brevity when it comes to accompanying release notes, but still always great to read from the horses’ mouth so-to-speak.

Apple’s official tvOS 11.2 release notes read as follows:

tvOS 11.2 includes new features, bug fixes, and security improvements in the OS and SDK, including:

  • Automatic mode switching to native frame rate and dynamic range of video content with Apple TV 4K
  • Support for switching Apple TV 4K display output to SDR for apps that are GPU-bound when running in HDR
  • Restoring Unwatched category in Home Sharing for Movies, TV Shows, and Home Videos.

The real improvements here are for users who are lucky enough to have welcomed Apple TV 4K into their lives. Installing tvOS 11.2 will afford that device with the ability to automatically switch to the correct and native frame rate and dynamic range for the video that is playing without forcing the 60fps HDR mode all the time for everything.

This also includes a new option within the Audio & Video section of the Settings app in tvOS 11.2 that allows the user to toggle this behavior. Installation of tvOS 11.2 also lets the system switch its display output to standard dynamic range (SDR) for apps that are “GPU-bound”. The user can control these now but the options are disabled by default.

The changes and improvements here are clearly designed to boost the experience for users who are interacting with apps and experiences which are accelerated and rely on GPU activity.

If you have a new Apple TV 4K and have installed tvOS 11.2, how is it working out for you?

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