Apple has today released a new, updated version of the third-generation Apple TV’s software, listed as firmware 7.2.1 (iOS 8.4.1) build 12H523. The update is available to download to Apple TVs that are connected to the internet, whether that be via ethernet or WiFi.
That version number may seem familiar to those who keep track of what version of software their Apple TV is running, and that’s because it’s technically the same as the version that was already available to those using the third-generation Apple TV. While the version number may not have changed, the build number has, suggesting that this is simply a release dedicated to minor bug fixes and security updates.
That assumption is backed up by a new Apple security posting to its website, which details just what has gone into this new build of firmware 7.2.1 (iOS 8.4.1), and as we thought, there are around three dozen changes in this build, all of which are aimed at making the third-generation Apple TV a more secure device.
While no new features have arrived this time, the update is nevertheless a good sign for those still using the old version of Apple’s set-top box. Those worried that it would not receive updates following the fourth-generation unit’s release can now rest easy, though it remains to be seen whether any new features will make their way to the ageing device.
You can update your third-gen Apple TV to the latest build by heading over to Settings > General > Update Software or, by toggling the Update Automatically option on from the same screen, you can have the set-top box do it for you whenever a new update is pushed to the device.
Third-gen Apple TV Software Updates screen
The newer, fourth-generation Apple TV powered by tvOS features its own App Store and is wildly different to its forebears. With a new interface and Siri support, those using an older Apple TV would do well to consider upgrading, so long as they don’t mind the somewhat less than ergonomic remote control and often mind-boggling user interface decisions.
Apart from that, though, it’s great!