At the “Let Us Loop You In” event held today in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a few moments to highlight the success of the Apple TV and announce some small upgrades coming today to tvOS, the Apple TV’s operating system. The most exciting announcement? Apple TV now allows dictation.
Cook started off by touting the new Apple TV’s excellent sales and the fact that there are now 5,000 apps available on the platform — neither of which should come as a huge surprise to anyone, considering tvOS has been designed to make porting apps over from iOS extremely easy. But with its announcement today, Apple has managed to differentiate the Apple TV from its well-established competition in on very key area: user input.
As of today, the new Apple TV will support dictation. That means that usernames and passwords will be easier than ever to enter into forms for apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — no more swiping and clicking necessary.
As part of the same update, the new Apple TV will now support folders, allowing users to categorize their many choices among that deep well of 5,000 available apps. This is yet another move that makes the Apple TV much like its iOS counterparts, lowering the barrier to entry for new users.
Finally, Siri now searches across more apps in the app store making the digital assistant even more useful than before. Apple also finally added access to iCloud photo library, making all photos available on a big screen.
Many may have been hoping for an announcement about a new live TV service, but reports indicate that goal remains a lofty one for Apple, and a bit of an uphill battle. If there’s a live streaming TV service from Apple on the horizon, it’s at least several months — and likely several boardroom handshakes — away.