tvOS 10 Preview: Dark Mode comes to Apple TV

By , Jul 26, 2016

tvOS 10 Preview Dark Mode teaser 001

On tvOS 10, you can switch between Dark and Light appearance. Dark Mode, one of the new features of tvOS 10, adjusts the look of your Home screen and backgrounds so that posters and icons are easier to read at night. As such, it makes watching TV at home feel more like going to the movies.

Conversely, selecting Light background makes posters and icons pop. Our video guy Andrew O’Hara has tested Dark Mode on tvOS 10, here’s his quick hands-on video.

“While users love the bright and fresh Apple TV interface, some may prefer a darker background to fit a home theater environment or darker rooms, so now users can select a dark background for Apple TV,” reads Apple’s explanation of the new feature.

Video hands-on: Dark Mode comes to your Apple TV

Available on tvOS since the first developer-only beta, Dark Mode hasn’t changed much in the latest beta 3 release. That’s because the feature is really simple: just slide a toggle in Settings, or use Siri to quickly switch between Light and Dark appearance.

Check out tvOS 10’s all-new Dark Mode in action in Andrew’s video below.

Don’t see the embedded video? Watch in on YouTube.

Dark Mode in your living room

As mentioned, Dark and Light mode are accessible via a new switch in Settings → General → Appearance, then select Light or Dark option to change the appearance of backgrounds and menus seen throughout tvOS accordingly.

Here’s what tvOS’s default Light appearance looks like.

tvOS 10 Settings Light Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

And this is what the menus look like with Dark Mode enabled.

tvOS 10 Settings Dark Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

Using Siri to enable Dark/Light Mode

Alternatively, ask Siri to “Enable/Disable Dark/Light Mode”.

Better yet, press the Siri button on the Siri Remote and just say “Dark Mode” or ”Light Mode” to instantly activate the corresponding mode.

If I invoke Siri and say “Light mode“…

tvOS 10 Siri Light Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

…she enables Light Mode right away.

tvOS 10 Light Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

If Light Mode is already on and I want to quickly switch my Apple TV to a darker interface, I simply invoke Siri and say, ”Dark Mode”…

tvOS 10 Siri Dark Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

…and just like that, Siri does the right thing.

tvOS 10 Dark Mode Apple TV screenshot 001

My wish list for Dark Mode

I wish Dark Mode had more user-facing options to it.

There are no additional settings or themes to choose from and you don’t get to tell your Apple TV to automatically turn on Dark Mode at certain times of the day—it’s a simple switch and that’s all there is to Dark Mode on tvOS 10—but I’m still liking it a lot.

tvOS 10: coolest new features

After the developer-only beta of tvOS 10 dropped at WWDC 2016, we installed it on our fourth-generation Apple TVs to hunt for new features. tvOS 10 brings out some newsworthy enhancements that enhances your living room experience:

tvOS 10 supports a number of developer-focused features, too.

These features will permit programmers to enhance their Apple TV apps using an expanded arsenal of APIs to make them better and more useful. As an example, tvOS 10 games can now finally support four ‘Made for iOS’ game controllers simultaneously and are no longer required to support the Siri Remote at all.

iDB previews tvOS 10

Check out previews of other tvOS 10 features coming to the Apple TV this fall.

Additional previews will be added to these lists as they’re published.

tvOS 10 availability

The tvOS developer betas are available for Apple Developer Program members at Apple does not provide tvOS for public beta-testing. tvOS 10 will be available this fall as a free software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV.

Siri will be available for Apple TV users in 12 countries. To learn more about the new Apple TV features provided by tvOS 10, visit Apple’s tvOS 10 Preview webpage and read the official press release.

The new Apple TV Remote app is currently available to Apple’s registered developers and requires an iOS device with iOS 9.3.2 and Apple TV with tvOS 9.2.1.

Your thoughts on Dark Mode?

Do you run a beta of tvOS on your Apple TV?

If so, how do you like darker appearance for the backgrounds, menus and other user interface items? Does Dark Mode on tvOS 10 feel natural to you and will it help make watching TV at home feel like going to the movies, do you think?

Chime in with your thoughts in the comment section below.

Have sound suggestions for future tvOS previews? Please post them in the comment section below, or email us at In planning future courage, we take any reasonable submissions into consideration.

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  • fiiiiine

    I like the update but I think it broke my August Smart Lock’s ability to be connected to remotely. If I’m not at home, I can’t connect to my locks to see if they’re locked or unlocked.

  • philip Mills

    when will public beta 3 be out

    • 24 hours after Apple makes developer-only beta 4 available. Public Beta 2 contains the same features as developer-only beta 3 BTW

      • philip Mills


  • therealjjohnson

    Dark mode is what the old interface looked like. I straight on that…