Apple tvOS 12 adds Dolby Atmos support to Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K

Earlier today Apple released iOS 12 to the world. The latest mobile OS brings Grouped Notifications, Memojis and better speeds for older devices but, just as importantly, an update to tvOS, too. 

The marquee feature of Apple’s latest tvOS is Dolby Atmos support, which adds object-based audio support for compatible sound systems that transcends traditional 5.1 and 7.1 setups. 

Also new are a zero-sign on feature that lets Apple TV learn your passwords from your iPad or iPhone via a Wi-Fi connection so you don’t need to remember them and a new set of high-resolution screensavers from Nasa. 

There are, as you might expect, a few caveats to an update this size. 

The first is that Atmos will only be supported on Apple TV 4K – and not the original Apple TV. You’ll also need Dolby Atmos movies and shows to take advantage of the update ... which, fortunately, Apple will make available through the iTunes Store. Even better, Apple will upgrade your collection of films to Dolby Atmos for free if there’s a matching version with Atmos support available.

The update should be rolling out to devices starting today – but, if you can’t wait to get your hands on the latest tvOS and that sweet, sweet object-based audio, you can force an update by going to System -> Software Updates -> Update Software. 

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.