Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Latest Apple TV beta adds search via the remote’s Siri button

The Siri button seen on an Apple TV remote.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Apple TV 4K is still the best streaming device you can buy, but there’s also one button on the remote I almost never press on purpose. But that may finally be about to change.

In the latest developer beta for the tvOS platform, Apple has added a wee bit of functionality to the Siri button on the side of the Siri Voice remote. (That’s the little button on the right-hand side with a microphone.) In the production software — that is, what most folks are running today — clicking the button activates Siri, basically the same as if it were on your phone. Say “Ted Lasso,” and it’ll take you straight into the Ted Lasso show on Apple TV+ in the Apple TV app on your Apple TV 4K. Say “Opeth,” and it’ll start playing Opeth on Apple Music.

(That wording, by the way, is my repeated reminder to Apple that using the same name for a premium streaming service, the same name for the app in which that service resides, and the same name for the hardware on which you will find both of those things, is particularly silly.)

A new search feature on Apple TV 4K.
Pressing the Siri button on the remote now opens a search box in some apps. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

But in the latest developer beta — which is not final software by any means and is subject to change — pressing the button once opens up a search box on your television screen, and activates the microphone. You’re encouraged to speak your query, which will then look up results across supported apps, and then you choose where to go from there.

For now, unsurprisingly, things seem to be pretty contained within Apple’s apps. This all works from the home screen and appears to search across multiple apps — “Search Movies, Shows and More,” it says. It works within the Apple TV app and invites you to “Search TV.” Pressing it within the Apple Music app invites you to “Search music.” Pressing it in YouTube TV or Hulu … does nothing. That’s not a surprise, given that this feature is part of the developer beta and not in release software. (It also doesn’t yet work in Photos, Podcasts, or Arcade.)

Long-pressing the microphone button, by the way, still activates Siri as before throughout all apps.

Again, this is all subject to change. And in the back of my head, I wonder if Apple will change the microphone button on the remote to a search button instead. But for now? It’s a fun little addition, alongside the beta changes to the Apple TV app itself.

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
Apple TV’s tvOS 17.2 beta adds a sidebar to the TV app
The new sidebar visible in the TV app on Apple TV in the tvOS 17.2 developer beta.

The new sidebar is visible in the TV app on Apple TV in the tvOS 17.2 developer beta. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One of the messier pieces of the Apple TV experience on Apple TV 4K hardware has long been Apple's TV app. It's where Apple has attempted to aggregate all the things you can watch on your Apple TV, from Apple TV+ to any number of installed applications. (Another seriously messy piece is the myriad things Apple has named "Apple TV." But that's another problem for another time.)

Read more
Apple TV+ and other Apple One services get a price hike
A hand holding an iPhone with the Apple TV+ and other services in a menu.

Subscribers to Apple TV+ are about to get a big surprise as Apple today raised the price of its Apple TV+ streaming service for the second time in its four-year history, hiking it from $7 to $10 per month. Its annual subscription rate also goes from $69 to $99.

The new prices quietly appeared on the company's website today, but Apple TV+ isn't the only service in its roster to see a price increase: Apple's gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, has gone from $5 per month to $7 per month and its news subscription, Apple News+ goes from $10 per month to $13 per month. This is the first time either of those services has had their prices increased.

Read more
Are Apple TV screensavers real?
Los Angeles International Airport as seen in a very real Apple TV screensaver.

Los Angeles International Airport as seen in an Apple TV screensaver. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

You’d be forgiven if you ask the following question upon seeing one of the high-resolution screensavers on Apple TV 4K:

Read more