Apple TV gets Shared Photo Streams, new screen savers, iTunes account switching and more

Apple today pushed out an update for its Apple TV set-top box. The update is focused on iOS 5.1 build 10A406e and a slew of enhancements and a few new features. Among the things we like in the new Apple TV software (in addition to the obligatory stability and performance fixes) is the ability to easily save multiple iTunes accounts and switch between them, support for Shared Photo Streams and AirPlay broadcasting from Apple TV to other devices…

Another nice-to-have that I think is gonna be popular: you can now reorder icons by holding down the Select button on your remote (was in betas), though this works only on page 2.

The enhanced AirPlay functionality sounds pretty intriguing as well in that you can now beam audio from one Apple TV box to another or even other AirPlay-enabled gear, like speakers.

Here, your release notes:

Shared Photo Streams – Accept invitations for Shared Photo Streams, browse photos and comments, and receive notifications of new content.
AirPlay – Send audio content from Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs). Also includes the ability to require an onscreen code to use AirPlay with your Apple TV.
iTunes account switching – Save multiple iTunes accounts and switch quickly between them.
Trailers – Search movie trailers. In the United States, see show times for local theaters.
Screen savers – New Cascade, Shrinking Tiles, and Sliding Panels screen savers.
Main menu – Reorder icons on the second page by holding down the select button on the remote.
Subtitles – SDH support for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as improvements to viewing and selecting subtitles.
Network configuration – Support for setting up advanced network options using configuration profiles. See for more information.
Stability and performance – Includes general performance and stability improvements.

This new Apple TV software supports the second (720p) and third-generation (1080p) Apple TV hardware.

Your device should put up a prompt when an update is available, but you can also do so manually by hitting Software Update in Settings > General > Update, or by get the firmware directly from our Downloads section.

If you spot anything else worth sharing, hit us in comments.