Search on Apple TV is getting a big upgrade

“Tired of typing each letter of your video streaming searches into your Apple TV manually?” Robert Hackett asks for Fortune. “Or punching in each individual character of your username and password when logging in?”

“Apple hears you,” Hackett reports. “The company has included a new feature in the beta version of an upcoming software update: voice dictation.”

“Now when entering a film or TV show title into the search box, a user can simply hold down the Siri microphone button on his or her remote control, and speak the letters individually,” Hackett reports. “Same goes for the account entry field.”

MacRumors‘ video demo:

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When released, the new Apple TV was the most beta-esque (blatantly unfinished and wildly incomplete) Apple product since OS X (which was actually labeled “beta”). Oh, wait, make that Apple’s Maps (which should have been labeled “beta.”)

Regardless, it’s nice to see Apple finally catching up on making Apple TV the product it should have been upon release.

As we wrote back in early November:

It’s perplexing that a a company the size of Apple couldn’t manage to release Apple TV with a working Remote app for iOS devices, with a Siri capable of Apple Music search, with bluetooth keyboard support, with 4K video capability, or with gigabit ethernet, among other things.

To put it plainly, the state of Apple TV at its release reeks of laziness, mismanagement, and/or taking your customers for granted.

Even with all of that said, Apple TV is a diamond in the rough, but it’s still well worth the price.

tvOS 9.2 beta 3 delivers Siri Remote dictation in text fields, iCloud Photo Library support, and more – February 8, 2016
tvOS 9.2 features Apple TV’s new Podcasts app, folders, app switcher UI, and more – January 12, 2016
Apple releases tvOS 9.1, delivers Siri for Apple Music on Apple TV – December 8, 2015
Apple TV: Siri support for Apple Music can’t get here soon enough – November 23, 2015
Houston Chronicle’s Silverman reviews new Apple TV: This cake needed more baking – November 9, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
The single worst feature of the new Apple TV – November 4, 2015
The new Apple TV has more rough edges than a sack of saw blades – November 3, 2015
Apple releases tvOS 9.1 beta 1 – November 3, 2015
5 days with the new Apple TV – November 3, 2015
Apple TV flaws that Apple should fix fast – November 3, 2015
TouchArcade reviews new Apple TV: A discoverability nightmare, zany controls, and loads of potential – November 2, 2015
Terry White reviews Apple TV: Feels like an ‘unfinished’ product – November 2, 2015
ZDNet reviews Apple TV: A diamond in the rough – very rough – November 2, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. I agree perfectly with your take, MDN, however, the Apple TV was so late in coming to market, that I for one was just ecstatic to get it, despite its shortcomings.

    Although not polished, it’s still a beautiful device, and so much better than any previous iteration of the ATV. I’m extremely excited for the next TVOS update, but I can’t imagine if Apple had waited until now to release the actual hardware…

  2. I’d like if they could increase the stability of how it reconnects to local libraries if a device goes to sleep. So often I use it one day, come back the next and try to play something and it comes up with an error loading. I then have to quit the app and start again. Annoying.

  3. There will be plenty of people who would prefer not to provide their log-in details and passwords by speaking them out loud for their families or house mates to hear.

    An app using the virtual keyboard on an IOS device would suit those users better.

    1. Yeah it’s like anyone else is excelling themselves in such matters. I suppose the whole economy in demonstrating its wide ranging incompetencies could close down just to suit you of course, or you could more logically just buy the products you do like, and hey if everyone else agrees you will get your wish without boring the rest of us with Your inane comments. Or you could of course grow up.

  4. I finally bought ATV version 4 and love it. The three main issues other than some junky 3rd party apps allowed in is Youtube text entry(or any other app that needs it), folders for all the games I downloaded, and iCloud. Why can’t iCloud(and Safari) be accessible? The remote is nice but easy to find the bottom of the couch. There should be some distinguishability between top and bottom. The A8 seems to have no trouble rendering moving reflective/refractive transparencies in games like Riptide. You can tell a quick port game vs a well developed game by how it loads.
    With the A9 or A10 processor in future versions, Playstation and Xbox had better watch out. ATV 4 is pretty awesome for the price, especially after the upcoming software upgrade.

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