If there’s one unsung feature of Apple’s streaming box, it’s the Apple TV app’s Next column, which alerts you to new shows, unfinished episodes, and sporting events without having to jump to different apps. Not every app is connected — Netflix in particular is absent — but for those that are, it’s a great way to keep an eye on what you’re watching.
Ever since Apple TV arrived in 2016, Up Next takes center stage when you launch the app. That changes in tvOS 16.2. The first thing you’ll see is a ‘Featured’ row of programs you haven’t watched yet. It’s not advertising per se, in the sense that it only seems to be filled with programs from services you subscribe to, but it’s no less annoying.
In fact, you can’t even see the Up Next row now unless you scroll down. It might be a minor inconvenience, but it’s a fundamental change in how the app works. There’s nothing wrong with a Featured row — after all, Apple promotes its own TV+ shows throughout the app — but it shouldn’t be the first thing you see.
On our Apple TV, it only appeared when we installed the tvOS 16.2 beta, but it’s not clear if this is a change in tvOS 16.2 or if it will be released to users at some point. And it’s also possible that Apple will scrap the change and keep things as they are.