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Voice control for the Apple TV is about to get much more useful

Apple TV HD remote.
The fourth-generation Apple TV is generally great, but it does have a few issues, one of which is entering text with the included remote. Apple quickly added the ability to use the Apple Remote app to make entering text easier, but with Siri built in, it always seemed like the voice control should be more robust.

Soon, users will be able to do a whole lot more with only their voices, thanks to the inclusion of voice dictation. The feature was introduced in the latest beta version of tvOS, Macrumors reports. Dictation isn’t just useful for searching, but can also be used for entering user names and passwords, which should bring a sigh of relief to anyone who has struggled to enter a long password using the remote.

Once the software update bringing this new feature goes live later this year, you’ll be asked whether you want to enable dictation. Once you do, the search bar will allow you to hold down the Siri button on the remote and simply say the text you want to enter, with a level meter appearing on the screen to let you know whether the remote is able to hear you clearly.

Dictation isn’t the only way to better control your Apple TV with your voice in the coming update. Users will now be able to search the App Store using Siri and commands like “search the App Store for VLC.”

These new features are the latest added to the increasingly feature-rich tvOS 9.2, which is now in its third beta. Other features added so far include iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos, Bluetooth keyboard support, an updated app switcher, and the ability to group apps into folders, similar to iOS.

While the features are available to beta users now, there is no official word yet on when the update will be released, though it will likely be released this spring alongside updates to Apple’s other platforms. An Apple Watch-focused event is rumored to be planned for March, and assuming it actually takes place, we’ll likely see many of these new Apple TV features shown off then.

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