Apple TV tvOS Hacked To Expose Underlying Support For iOS-Like Folders

It’s very rare these days that a company can release a new version of a major platform and not have an inquisitive developer dive two feet in to see what goes on behind the scenes. With every single Apple release, regardless of whether it’s iOS, OS X, tvOS, or watchOS, it seems that someone gets into the nitty gritty of the platform to see if there are any hidden gems. One of the regular offenders, developer Steve Troughton-Smith, has done exactly that once again with Apple’s tvOS 9.0 build and discovered it has built-in support for iOS-like Home screen folders.

Smith is no stranger to investigating Apple’s platforms and getting them to do things that Apple doesn’t exactly want right at this moment. You may remember that he was also one of the first to get “native” apps running on the Apple Watch firmware before watchOS 2 was officially introduced to the public. Now, after being disappointed by the lack of folders support in the latest tvOS 9.1 beta, Smith has done a little digging and worked his magic by sharing images that show folders on the Apple TV 4 functioning just like they would on a standard iOS device.


This time around it seems that the developer is actually getting the Apple TV to do something that Apple potentially actually wants it to do. His investigation into the underlying codebase of tvOS 9.0 uncovered the fact that Apple has already packed built-in support for folders on the new Apple TV, but it just hasn’t been activated yet for one reason or another.


The information and images shared by Smith show that users would be able to name the folders whatever they want, as well as have 9 apps in a single folder in a 3×3 grid. Deleting apps also seems pretty easy with a single press of the play/pause button on the Siri Remote.


The existence of this code within tvOS doesn’t explicitly mean that Apple has every intention of activating folders for Apple TV owners. It clearly shows that there has been a lot of thinking behind the feature, with enough consideration to apply time and engineering resources for including it. But whether or not we will see it “officially” introduced anytime soon is an entirely different story. Would folders on the Apple TV 4 be something you would use? Or, like me, do you think they would be a little cumbersome and fiddly?


(Source: @stroughtonsmith [Twitter])

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