I will be counting down the days to the next big release of tvOS for Apple TV. The latest beta version includes a variety of features and capabilities that are sorely needed and really should have been part of the initial design when the product was released. At the top of that list is unleashing the full capabilities of Siri so I don’t have to tediously type things using the touchpad on the remote.
Last year, Apple launched the most significant update to Apple TV since it was first launched in 2012. The device itself got a tad bulkier, but with that extra bulk also came a bevy of changes and upgrades in the internal hardware and the capabilities of the OS that drives it. Namely, Apple TV got Siri.
Well, sort of. It got a limited version of Siri. The Siri functionality of the latest Apple TV is great for searching movies and TV shows, and it can respond to queries and open some apps like it’s iOS sibling. However, there are many other ways Siri can be more useful—particularly on a device where the default method of input is a tiny square touchpad. According to a report from MacRumors, tvOS 9.2 includes a number of improvements that will unleash the full power of Siri and more.
The most exciting update as far as I’m concerned is dictation. Although the Apple TV has some Siri capabilities, I still had to painstakingly navigate through an on-screen virtual keyboard using the small square touchpad on the remote in order to enter my Apple ID and password, and other details required to get the device configured. That was no fun.
MacRumors states, “There’s now support for onscreen text entry via dictation in countries where Siri is available. When updating to tvOS 9.2 beta 3, users will be prompted to enable or disable dictation. With dictation, Apple TV users can dictate text and spell user names and passwords rather than typing them.”
The update to Siri also expands the search capabilities of the virtual assistant so you can search for apps as well as movies and TV shows. But, wait! There’s more!
With the latest Apple TV OS update you don’t have to choose to dictate your input with Siri or tediously enter it on the virtual keyboard. tvOS 9.2 also includes support for Bluetooth keyboards. You can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the Apple TV and just type away.
You can read the full story on Forbes: Apple TV Will Soon Get The Full Power Of Siri.
Check out this video from MacRumors that walks through the updates in the latest beta of tvOS: