Apple TV universal search integration expands, suggesting API now open

“It appears Apple has made good on promises to roll out developer access to Apple TV universal search APIs, as tvOS now includes deep content links from both the PBS and PBS Kids apps,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Universal search is a tentpole feature for the fourth-generation Apple TV, a set-top box capable of streaming movies, TV shows, music and more from a variety of apps,” Campbell reports. “Initially, universal search functionality was limited to iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO.”

Campbell reports, “A month before fourth-gen Apple TV units hit store shelves, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would open universal search APIs to third-party developers in the near future, but declined to comment on an exact time window.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is excellent news for Apple TV users and Apple TV app developers! Universal search is a key feature of Apple TV that sets the device apart from rivals.


    1. It’s such a huge missed opportunity.

      Siri should be context-aware. If I’m in YouTube, weight Siri’s response accordingly. If I’m in a text field it would be simple to fill in the blank.

      And for god’s sake when I ask to see all the top comedies in the last six months, Siri should have an answer for me.

      Now that I understand Siri’s limitations, I worry that I won’t take advantage of improvements to the technology as they come. I’m sure they’ll get it right at some point, but I won’t think to ask.

  1. Apple TV potential is jaw dropping. The biggest drawbacks are access to content without a cable package. The current UI reminds me of the early days of iTunes after they bought SoundJam MP3 from Cassidy & Green. Universal Voice Search is surely on the roadmap and will map and will surely be available this year (I gave my self a full 12 months, heh.) The other thing that I can’t wait to be added are more full-fledged DVR functions like slo-motion and the ability to pause live TV and freely go back to the beginning of a program (that will require storage somewhere, won’t it?)

    1. I agree that content access without cable is critical. On the other hand, if that access comes (as I fear it might) by having to nickel and dime us for every byte of content, that could end up costing more than cable does now. A tough call. If content gives us the option of free access with cable or some low cost, it could end up being cheaper buying (but not using) a cheap cable subscription to access those channels…as some are already doing.

  2. Given what a mess of a content, service and technology provider Verizon is I would actually be willing to pay the same or more if I could get my content from Apple. The content creators should recognize that their content is being crippled by Verizon and Comcast. Their audiences are severely compromised by being unable to watch what they want, when and how they want without being nickeled and dime, as you say. And by the way, Apps on ATV4 are the bees knees. If the TV networks aren’t careful, they will be obsoleted by apps from newcomers and other alternative sources of content that don’t require activation through Verizon, Comcast or the rest of the cable jokers.

  3. Last night, I told Siri I wanted to watch Sherlock.

    No joy. The BBC series (available on Netflix) wasn’t in the search results. I thought Siri could search Netflix, but apparently not. Or am I missing something?

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