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Apple TV update adds design tweaks, Family Sharing, and Beats Music app

Apple TV update adds design tweaks, Family Sharing, and Beats Music app

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Apple TV is considered an iOS device, which is a thing people sometimes forget, so it too has been updated with a new version of the software today. The first thing you'll notice is a slightly tweaked design that replaces the icons for music, TV shows, movies, and other apps with new versions that are more in line with the visual style of iOS 7 and 8. The on-screen font has also been changed slightly. Other than that, it's still the same old grid of rounded rectangles, a user interface that's getting really long in the tooth at this point. You'll need a third-gen Apple TV to receive all the new stuff.

Today's Apple TV update also makes the set-top box compatible with all the latest iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite features like iCloud Photo and Family Sharing, with the latter letting you access iTunes content purchased by other people in your family. The software has been in development for several months, with MacRumors and 9to5Mac having already revealed its new looks and feature set.

But there is one surprise today: a new Beats Music app designed for Apple TV. We haven't been able to give it a try just yet, so we can't say what's different about streaming Beats on your TV as opposed to the phone. Some features like "The Sentence" would presumably need to be reworked to function smoothly in the living room. Unlike the fierce streaming war playing out on smartphones, Beats faces relatively little competition on Apple's box. Similar services like Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora don't yet have native Apple TV apps.