Skip to main content

Apple TV getting FaceTime, Memories screensaver, and remote finder

FaceTime on Apple TV.

Among the many other announcements at Apple’s monster WWDC 2023 came three pretty serious improvements to the Apple TV platform. That is, with tvOS 17 on Apple TV hardware — not the app, or the Apple TV+ streaming service.

First, and probably the biggest, is that FaceTime is coming to Apple TV. As you’ve likely deduced already, FaceTime Video calls will still be implemented from something other than the Apple TV itself. But you’ll use another Apple device — one with a camera, of course — to allow folks on the other end of the call to see you. And then you’ll see them on the big screen.

No word just yet on which phones, tablets, or laptops (the three food groups that all have built-in cameras) will be supported, or whether you might be able to rig up an external camera instead. (Though the lack of a USB port on the current generation of Apple TV might well preclude that.)

And semi-related, Apple says hotels will start supporting AirPlay. It didn’t say which, or when.

Apple TV memories.

The next major announcement fills a hole that has been evident in the otherwise excellent Apple TV screensavers. Memories will give you a new option for using your own photos as the screensaver. But instead of curating your own album to display, Memories will generate highlights. Presumably, it’ll use some sort of image recognition to help ensure things are safe for work or home, and we’ll hope to see the ability to exclude individual photos or albums. But more to come on that later.

Apple TV control center.

Control Center is getting a refresh, too, with more options and actions for home automation — though it remains to be seen if Apple will make it more discoverable in the first place.

Apple TV find remote.

And finally, Apple TV will gain the ability to find a missing Siri Remote using your iPhone. Apple didn’t say anything more than that — including whether that will be done with existing Apple TV hardware, or if something new is coming down the pike. But if it manages to save you the extra cost of a remote sheath and AirTag, we’re all for it.

Stand by for more details on all of that, though, as Apple gives them post-WWDC event.

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
Apple TV+ and other Apple One services get a price hike
A hand holding an iPhone with the Apple TV+ and other services in a menu.

Subscribers to Apple TV+ are about to get a big surprise as Apple today raised the price of its Apple TV+ streaming service for the second time in its four-year history, hiking it from $7 to $10 per month. Its annual subscription rate also goes from $69 to $99.

The new prices quietly appeared on the company's website today, but Apple TV+ isn't the only service in its roster to see a price increase: Apple's gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, has gone from $5 per month to $7 per month and its news subscription, Apple News+ goes from $10 per month to $13 per month. This is the first time either of those services has had their prices increased.

Read more
Are Apple TV screensavers real?
Los Angeles International Airport as seen in a very real Apple TV screensaver.

Los Angeles International Airport as seen in an Apple TV screensaver. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

You’d be forgiven if you ask the following question upon seeing one of the high-resolution screensavers on Apple TV 4K:

Read more
The Apple TV remote finder isn’t as good as a case and AirTag
Finding an AirTag hidden inside an Apple TV Siri Remote case.

Using the "Find My" app to find an AirTag in an Apple TV remote case is more accurate. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Of all the new features in iOS 17 and tvOS 17, one of the ones I was most eager to try was the new "Find My Remote" feature. It doesn't have an official name, and it isn't actually part of the Find My app. But, still. Anything that makes it easier to find a lost remote is a good thing, right?

Read more