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iOS 7.1.x code points to Siri support on Apple TV

updated 11:12 am EDT, Wed April 23, 2014

Set-top could follow in footsteps of Amazon Fire TV

Code contained in iOS 7.1 and 7.1.1 suggests that Apple is planning to bring Siri to the Apple TV. A PLIST file for Assistant -- an internal Apple name for Siri -- includes the Apple TV lineup under its collection of supported devices. Notably, though, no Apple TV to date has included the microphone that would be needed for Siri.

The code may therefore add to evidence that Apple is planning to release updated Apple TV hardware later this year. The set-top in fact appears highly likely to follow in the footsteps of Amazon's Fire TV, which includes a remote-triggered voice search function that speeds up searching for content. On the current Apple TV, typing in search commands is extremely laborious unless a person uses a connected keyboard or iOS device.

To what extent Siri might be implemented on the Apple TV is unclear. On iOS devices the technology is not only responsible for content searches, but controlling hardware options, loading apps, and retrieving data from the web. Apple may have to revamp its software interface in order to meet expectations.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Given that the Apple TV box is going to be across the room, we can assume that mike is going to be built into the remote. This is also a good time to suggest that Apple create a Kid's Mode for Siri, one that'd answer questions like, "Show me a kitty," and guide their TV viewing. I suspect that'd give them one-up on Amazon.

  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    It may be difficult to imagine but I think Siri doesn't need a microphone in the Apple TV to work. Most people who own Apple TV already have iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads that will do Siri for the ATV.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    My thoughts exactly, ElectroTech... Siri integration through iPads and iPhones, and leave the remote alone.

    While this does leave some customers out in the cold (those that only own an AppleTV, and no current mobile Apple devices), I have to believe those are a non-majority fraction of the user base.

    Amazon did well with integrating voice recognition into their FireTV hardware *and their FireTV hardware alone.* I foresee Apple integrating Siri voice recognition into many devices, not just their AppleTV -- so having dedicated Siri input hardware in each device they want to control via Siri doesn't make sense. It makes more sense to integrate Siri as a voice control mechanism across the board, and then you can voice-control *all* your Apple gear -- not just the AppleTV.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    It would seem to me that the iOS Remote app that works with Apple TV will implement a Speech feature to work in conjunction with Siri, similar to how the iOS Keyboard provides a microphone dictation option.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I've had reports from a couple of FireTV owners that voice search is only marginally better than using a remote to "type in" search terms, but this is just anecdotal and may not reflect all users' experience.

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