tvOS 16: Apple will improve inter-device connectivity

During the Apple Event on June 6, Apple barely talked about tvOS 16, the future update for Apple TV. If this new firmware will not bring many changes, there are still some improvements that will revolutionize the way Apple TV communicates with the rest of the devices in the ecosystem.

Cross-device connectivity with greater integration

The tvOS 16 update should bring some new features, even if Apple did not mention it during its event, we already know that Nintendo Switch controllers will be supported, that HDR10+ is now included or that when creating a profile, the first names of your Apple family members will be suggested.

However, the biggest innovation should be a marked improvement in the connectivity between Apple TV and other Apple devices you own. Indeed, Apple will offer developers a brand new “DeviceDiscoveryUI” framework, it will become possible to create tvOS and iOS applications that communicate with each other via the local network of your home.
This is already possible with tvOS 15, but Apple will take things even further by offering a native interface and a much more process easy and accessible for less experienced developers.

Apple will improve inter-device connectivity

This new API could be comparable to the integration of Apple Fitness+, the application developed by the Californian giant is probably the best example to show the perfection of connectivity between Apple TV and the rest of Apple devices. Indeed, the fitness app is able to communicate in real time with Apple Watch (to retrieve your heartbeat and calories burned) and with the Iphone to transfer everything into the Fitness app so you have a complete summary.

All of this information is from a session at WWDC 2022, Apple was showcasing the framework to developers and here’s how it’s laid out:

DeviceDiscoveryUI provides a system user interface for easy discovery of nearby devices. Once a device has been discovered, your app can easily open a connection to that device. Since this connection was made using the System UI, you don’t have to worry about managing LAN access permissions. And because the system handles the secure establishment of this connection, you no longer need to implement your own key exchange, as the platform encrypts the transmitted data for you.

As you will have understood, this greater connectivity between Apple TV and other Apple devices is a huge opportunity for the user experience. Developers will be able to take advantage of this feature more easily, which was not necessarily widely used on tvOS 15 because of its complicated development process.

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