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Published on September 17th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


tvOS 12 golden master now available for 4th & 5th-gen Apple TVs

The golden master of tvOS 12 is now available for free through the ‘Settings’ app on fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV devices. The update went online at 1:15 p.m. EDT, Monday, as scheduled, with tvOS 12.0 build 16J364.

tvOS 12 can be downloaded manually by going to the ‘Settings’ app on Apple TV, navigating to ‘System’, then to ‘Software Updates’. The Apple TV can also be set up to receive updates automatically by turning on the ‘Automatically Update’ selection on the same screen.

Over 20 new features are part of tvOS 12. Probably the biggest addition is the much-talked-about support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the only standalone set-top box to support both standards. Apple is slowly adding to iTunes Dolby Atmos-supported content as well, and iTunes libraries will be upgraded for free on all 4K-supported titles.

The zero sign-on feature automatically uses your location and local Wi-Fi network, authenticating with a pay TV subscription or TV provider login for many third-party apps like CNN, AMC, HBO, and Showtime.  Zero sign-on will begin with the cable company Charter Communications later this year and will expand to other providers over time.

AutoFill will allow users – and now guests – to use saved passwords to various apps and services on Apple TV. If an iOS device is within a few feet of a Siri remote, stored passwords will be accessible for sign-in after confirming the device using a prompted pairing code, and that also applies for guests who can use their sign-on on someone else’s Apple TV.

Any Apple TV user will also see the Apple TV remote added to their Control Center automatically, no longer requiring configuration. The app on iOS devices will allow for total control of an Apple device without needing the Siri remote.

A new HomeKit Category for TV remotes is now part of tvOS 12 allowing third-party remotes like those from Control 4, Crestron, and Savant, to work with fourth and fifth-generation Apple TVs including the ability to access Siri and search. At launch, Logitech’s Harmony remotes are not supported for this feature.

Swappable screensavers are also now available along with ‘Ariels’ screensavers with videos taken on board the International Space Station in 4K, high-definition. A text overlay on screensavers now identifies the location of the image.


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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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