Your Apple TV and HomePods just got a bunch of performance upgrades

Apple TVs get some really useful new features, but the HomePods upgrade is a mystery

Apple TV on brown wooden table
(Image credit: Apple)

While iOS 16 hogs the headlines, and deservingly so, Apple has also sneaked out some updates for its Apple TV streamer and its HomePods and HomePods mini smart speakers. 

The HomePods update is rather mysterious – all Apple says is that it includes performance and stability improvements – but the Apple TV gets some great, specified new features.

The most fun new feature is the improved Bluetooth and USB game controller support, which adds lots of new models including Nintendo's Switch Joy-Cons and the Switch Pro Controller too. If you haven't already tried using controllers on Apple TV it completely changes the Apple Arcade experience, especially on faster-paced games such as platformers. There's also a new Buddy Controller feature that enables two friends to play as one. 

The update also adds HDR10+ support to the Apple TV app and some new features for navigation and fitness.

tvOS 16: more new features

The tvOS 16 update also adds improved accessibility features, support for personalised Spatial Audio via your iPhone, My Sports for following your favourite teams across your Apple apps and improved integration with Apple Fitness+, Apple's subscription-based fitness service.

The changes here aren't as significant as the ones to iOS, but they're still worthwhile. As ever, if you've got automatic updates enabled your Apple TV and your HomePods or HomePods mini should install the update without any help from you, but if not you can update manually from the Settings app on your Apple TV and the Home app on your iPhone or Mac.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).