Apple Releases Minor tvOS 11.2.6 Update

Apple today released a new update for tvOS 11, the operating system designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TVs. tvOS 11.2.6 comes one month after the release of the tvOS 11.2.5 update, which focused on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements.

tvOS 11.2.6 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System –> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to the tvOS 11.2.6 automatically.



As a minor 11.x.x update tvOS 11.2.6 focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues that were discovered following the release of tvOS 11.2.5. It is being released alongside bug fix updates for iOS, macOS, and watchOS to address a problem that caused devices to crash due to an inability to render a specific character in the Indian language Telugu.

tvOS 11.2.6 will be followed by tvOS 11.3, an update that is currently being beta tested and is slated for release this spring.

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YouTube TV hikes prices after adding new channels

YouTube TV has hiked its prices after adding a whole bunch of new channels. The service, which came to Apple TV earlier this month, now hosts Turner networks like CNN, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network — but for an extra $5 a month. If you’re a cable cutter, services like YouTube TV are a blessing. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Apple Working on ‘Swagger’ TV Show Based on NBA Star Kevin Durant

Apple is developing a new drama series that’s based on the early life and career of NBA star Kevin Durant, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, reports Variety.

The show, called “Swagger,” was inspired by Durant’s experiences as a youth playing basketball. It will highlight the world of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, taking a look into the lives of players, their families, and coaches.



Imagine Television, led by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, will produce alongside Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Media. Both Durant and Grazer will serve as executive producers, while Reggie Rock Bythewood will write and direct. Bythewood is known for his work on “Notorious,” a movie that shared the story of Notorious B.I.G., and television series “Shots Fired.”

Apple now has at least 10 television shows in the early stages of development, including an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, an “Amazing Stories” reboot from Steven Spielberg, an untitled space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, a series written by “La La Land” creator Damien Chazelle, a Kristen Wiig comedy series, See, an epic world-building drama, Home, a docuseries focusing on incredible homes, and “Little America,” an anthology series from “The Big Sick” creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

More details about each of Apple’s television projects can be found in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

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How to Use Your HomePod as a Speaker for Your Apple TV

The HomePod offers great sound, and with AirPlay connectivity, you can set the HomePod up to function as a speaker for your Apple TV, routing Apple TV sound through the HomePod.

You can use Apple TV and HomePod together as long as you have a fourth or fifth-generation Apple TV — it won’t work with earlier models.


Pairing Apple TV and HomePod

  1. Open the Settings app on the Apple TV.
  2. Scroll down to the Video and Audio section and select it.
  3. Choose “Audio Output.”
  4. Select the HomePod icon from the list of available devices.

Once the Apple TV is paired with the HomePod, TV sound will be routed through your HomePod instead of through your TV. You can’t control playback in any way using the HomePod, such as through Siri commands, but it does relay audio.

Using the HomePod’s physical controls, you can change the volume of the Apple TV.

Unpairing Apple TV and HomePod

You’ll presumably want to use your HomePod for purposes beyond playing audio from the Apple TV, and unpairing is done through the same settings you used to pair the HomePod and Apple TV in the first place.

  1. Open the Settings app on the Apple TV.
  2. Scroll down to the Video and Audio section and select it.
  3. Choose “Audio Output.”
  4. Click on the HomePod icon from the list of available devices to deselect it.

In a future update to iOS 11, Apple plans to introduce support for pairing two HomePods together for the equivalent of stereo sound. Once dual HomePod pairing is available, you’ll be able to use two HomePods with the Apple TV for even better sound.

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DirecTV Now Sweetens Deal: Prepay Three Months of Service for $105 and Get a Free 32GB Apple TV 4K

DirecTV Now has updated its Apple TV 4K deal today with an even lower price point: if you prepay for just three months of the streaming TV service for a total of about $105, you’ll get the 32GB Apple TV 4K for free. The deal is an improvement on the original DirecTV Now offer of prepaying for four months of the $35/month service (that’s the entry price point), which ended up costing $140 for the 32GB Apple TV 4K.

This makes DirecTV Now’s deal the best sale price currently available online for the Apple TV 4K, with the $105 price tag up to $75 cheaper than the device’s current going rate of about $170 to $180 at retailers like B&H Photo and Best Buy. You could also opt for the higher cost packages of DirecTV Now when prepaying for three months, with the service increasing to $50/month, $60/month, and $70/month for additional channels.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Once ordered, the Apple TV 4K arrives in the mail within a few weeks, and if you don’t want to continue to pay for DirecTV Now at the end of the three month prepaid period, you can cancel it before you’re billed again and keep the Apple TV 4K. The offer is limited to new DirecTV Now subscribers in the United States, but existing customers can take advantage of it by using a different email address. There’s also a limit of one offer per DirecTV Now account and two per shipping address.

Below you’ll find more of the fine print on the refined deal:

4K Apple TV (32 GB): Must prepay first three months of service at full price. Online orders will be shipped via FedEx ground to address provided. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Offer limited to 1 per DIRECTV NOW account; 2 per shipping address. Not combinable with select offers. 4K HD not available with DIRECTV NOW.

The company notes on the updated page for the deal that it is a limited time offer and “won’t last,” suggesting that it could return to the normal four months of prepaid service fairly soon. If you’re interested, head over to DirecTV Now’s landing page for the deal, click “Redeem & Stream,” and make sure to add the free Apple TV 4K to your plan during the sign-up process.

For more information on discounts happening this week, visit our Deals Roundup.

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Apple TV app gets live news on iOS and tvOS

Apple has introduced a live news section to its TV app for iOS and tvOS. It hosts a bunch of live feeds from a number of major news providers — but you’ll only see them if you live in the United States. Apple confirmed it would be bringing live news to its TV app back in […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Live News Section in Apple’s TV App Rolls Out to US Users

Apple’s TV app gained a new News section late on Thursday. The dedicated section is appearing for users in the United States with devices running the latest iOS 11.2.5 and tvOS 11.2.5 releases.



The new News option offers live streaming access to Bloomberg, CBS News, Cheddar, CNBC, CNN, and Fox News. The aggregated streams can be viewed directly within the TV app, although like other sourced content, users need to have the associated third-party tvOS apps installed for the channel links to show up.

The News section was originally demoed during Apple’s September Apple TV 4K announcement, where the recently launched Sports section was also shown. The main difference between the two in the app interface is that Sports gets its own button, while News currently sits below a section created for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in the “Watch Now” area of the TV app.

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Big Sick creators write funny immigration TV series for Apple

Immigration is one of the hottest issues in Washington D.C. this week and with a little help from Apple, the issue is about to take over Hollywood too. Apple is developing yet another original TV show called Little America that’s being written by Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani and his partner Emily V. Gordon. Little […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)