Apple TVs will get native support for VPN apps in tvOS 17, according to an Apple press release (via 9to5Mac). This is one of the many features that didn’t make it into the WWDC 2023 keynote, but it could be a big deal for some people. Assuming the native VPN apps on Apple’s streaming box work like they do elsewhere, you might not have to wait until you get home to catch up on streaming shows when you’re traveling with Apple TV 4K.
Currently, in tvOS 17, to use a VPN with your Apple TV, you’ll need to do something like install a VPN on your router to do so, and not all routers support this. Native VPN support is one of the few advantages Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV devices have over Apple TV right now.
We reached out to several VPN services like NordVPN and Express VPN to find out if they have any plans to develop their own apps for Apple TV.
Built-in VPN support already exists on iPhone, iPad and Mac, and adding the capability to your Apple TV is potentially great news — not least because it could mean you can stream shows that aren’t available in your country. VPNs on other devices could potentially allow you to use TikTok at a university that has banned it, while choosing servers outside of your own location could allow you to download the embattled social media app if wider bans come into play. force in a state like Montana, for example.
Other new tvOS 17 features announced in the release include improved dialogue that separates dialogue from background noise and routes it through your center channel, and support for Dolby Vision 8.1. It will also bring updates to Apple Fitness+, which will add personalized workout and meditation plans that you can schedule based on things like your day, preferred duration, and workout type. It also adds Stacked Workouts—essentially a workout playlist option—and Audio Focus, which lets you prioritize the volume of Apple’s music or coaches’ voices.