Apple tvOS update will improve Siri search and sign on

Alex Kidman 14 June 2016 NEWS

Apple’s update for the fourth generation Apple TV’s underlying operating system aims to make content discovery and service sign-in easier to manage.

At its WWDC conference, Apple announced the next update for its tvOS operating environment. To date, that’s an operating environment that applies to a single Apple product, the fourth generation Apple TV, and with no new hardware announcements today at all, it seems likely that the fourth generation product will fly the Apple TV flag for some time to come.

With a nod to the ecosystem that Apple is building, it also announced a new 4th generation Apple Remote app that will enable iPad and iPhone users to mimic the features of the Siri Remote that ships with the Apple TV, including text entry onscreen for faster searches. Siri on tvOS will also support more contextual searches, such as searching YouTube by direct command. Where live channels are offered over Apple TV, you’ll be able to quickly switch to them, presumably depending on the speed of your Internet connection, because the Apple TV doesn’t include any kind of actual tuner within it.

The other big new feature for tvOS is single sign in. Instead of having to remember passphrases for individual services, supported apps will allow you to sign in once on your Apple TV to access a range of services. On the smaller upgrade side, a new dark theme will be added to tvOS to more easily accommodate home theatre users.

tvOS will be made available to developers from today, with full release scheduled for the Australian spring, which is exactly when Apple’s also planning to release the new version of macOS, dubbed "Sierra", WatchOS3 and iOS 10. Hopefully they’re not all coming on the same day, otherwise your download quota might take a bit of a hit.

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