New Features in tvOS 9.2 Beta 3: Dictation Support and App Store Siri Search

Throughout the tvOS 9.2 beta testing process, Apple has been steadily adding new features. Today's third beta introduced a pair of new features that are quite useful: dictation and App Store search for Siri. We've made a quick video that shows off the new features and how they work on the fourth-generation Apple TV.

With the new dictation option, it's now possible for Apple TV owners to dictate text and spell user names and passwords rather than typing them. After installing tvOS 9.2 beta 3, users are prompted to enable or disable dictation.

After dictation is enabled, the tvOS search bar alternates between a blank search field and an option to hold down the Siri button on the remote to dictate text. While speaking into the remote, a live levels meter is displayed on the screen so you can be sure the dictation feature is activated.

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The first version of tvOS had few options for entering text, requiring users to slowly type in passwords and user names with the on-screen text entry box with the Siri remote. Since then, Apple has added support for the Apple Remote app, with tvOS 9.2 bringing support for dictation and Bluetooth keyboards.

App Store search for Siri is the second new feature in today's beta. With the new Siri support, voice-based searches can be used to find specific apps or app categories, such as games, in the App Store. The feature greatly enhances the process of finding apps on the fourth-generation Apple TV, which was previously limited to text-based searches.

Along with App Store search for Siri, Bluetooth keyboard support, and dictation, tvOS 9.2 includes support for iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos, and allows users to group apps into folders on the Home screen like on iOS devices. It also includes a new look for the App Switcher interface, and brings MapKit for developers.

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tvOS 9.2 is currently available only to developers, but it should see a public release in the spring likely alongside iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4, and watchOS 2.2.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

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54 months ago
I don't have a new Apple TV but these all seem like extremely basic features that should be there from the start. What's happening at Apple these days?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago

How long are you looking at the background? Isn't 99.9% of the time you have an app open? Navigating from one app to another takes like what?... Seconds???

So? Shouldn't that time be spent in an optimal environment? Also, plenty of the white interface elements are in apps as well.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago
Just make the background dark. White is an awful background color for a TV application.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago
Let me know when Siri can search my local iTunes library, and they organize the TV shows in my library by Show, season, episode instead of the awful way it is today.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago
FINALLY!!!

Bluetooth keyboard support!!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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54 months ago

How about an Apple Maps app for the Apple TV? I think that would be great, except no pinch-zoom might be a problem.

I use plane finder which is a interesting app in itself , but you can use the map on it pretty good tap the top of the control to zoom in tap the bottom to zoom out
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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