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No, there are no rumors of Safari coming to tvOS. However, if you read the news earlier this week, you may have learned about how users were able to join a FaceTime call using an Xbox and Microsoft Edge. While pretty much every game console and Smart TV has a web browser, Apple TV doesn’t. But would you like to have Safari on your Apple TV?
Ever since I got my first Smart TV years ago, I remember that it came with a web browser pre-installed. It was a really basic one that didn’t deliver a great experience, but I still found it impressive to be able to access some websites on the big screen. Even my PlayStation 3, which was introduced in 2006, had its own web browser.
Today, even the Apple Watch has a web browser that lets you open URLs that someone has messaged you. Everything has a web browser these days, from smartwatches to TVs and even virtual assistant devices like Amazon Echo Show. However, there’s one device that has never had a web browser and still doesn’t, and that is the Apple TV.
Apple’s set-top box is equipped with the same chips that power the iPhone and iPad, and it also runs an iOS-based operating system. But still, you can’t open a webpage on it. This led to a discussion among members of the 9to5Mac staff about how odd it is not to have Safari on Apple TV, even though most people might not use it often.
Let me briefly share my personal take on this. I know that browsing the web using a TV remote is far from a good experience, but sometimes really I want to show a website to others on the big screen – not to mention that I might want to access a streaming channel or web app (like FaceTime) that is not available on tvOS.
Sure, I can use AirPlay Mirroring, but then there’s the screen aspect ratio issue. While your TV has a 16:9 display, your iPhone and iPad don’t, which means black bars on the screen. For some reason, Apple thinks Apple Watch is a good device for browsing the web, but Apple TV is not.
There are some things that Apple could do to fix it. The most obvious is to bring the full Safari experience to tvOS, but it could also have a solution for showing web pages in full screen when mirroring them from an iPhone or iPad using AirPlay. But now we want to know your thoughts about it.
Do you miss having a web browser on tvOS? What do you think could be done to fix this? Tell us in the poll and comments section below.