Apple Releases tvOS 9.2 With Bluetooth Keyboard Support, Siri App Store Search, App Folders, Dictation and More

by

Apple today released tvOS 9.2 to the public, marking the second major update to the tvOS operating system since the fourth-generation Apple TV was released in October. tvOS 9.2 has been in beta since January 11 and brings a slew of new features that were introduced throughout the testing period.

tvOS 9.2 can be downloaded over-the-air through the Settings app on the Apple TV 4 by opening the System section and choosing the Software Update option.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

tvOS 9.2 brings two new text input methods -- dictation and Bluetooth keyboards -- to the fourth-generation Apple TV, making it much easier to insert passwords and search for content like apps, movies, and television shows. Bluetooth keyboard support is a major feature that was missing from previous versions of tvOS, a curious absence as the Apple TV 4 has supported Bluetooth gaming controllers since launch.

With dictation support, Apple TV users can dictate text for tasks like spelling user names and passwords instead of typing them in. Dictation capabilities are available in all countries where Siri is available on the Apple TV. Bluetooth keyboard support and dictation join the Siri remote and the Apple TV iOS app as ways to interface with the Apple TV 4.

tvos_dictation
In tvOS 9.2, apps can be grouped into folders, making it possible to create a more organized iOS-style Home screen, and there's also a new look for the App Switcher interface.

tvos_folder
Full support for iCloud Photo Library is included, so Apple TV users can access all of their photos on the device, including Live Photos taken with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Photo Stream was the only available photo option prior to tvOS 9.2, and iCloud Photo Library can be turned on through the Settings app.

tvos_switcher
Siri's capabilities are expanded in tvOS 9.2, a change that may be the most welcome to most Apple TV users. Siri is now able to search the App Store, improving app discovery. Using Siri, searches can be made for specific apps or categories of apps, like social media or games.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

After installing tvOS 9.2, Apple TV owners will be prompted to update their Siri Remotes with new firmware. The update will improve motion sensor performance within games and apps and it adds support for additional sound bar and receiver hardware.

Other new features in tvOS 9.2 include support for MapKit, so developers can incorporate maps into their tvOS apps, and additional Siri languages. Siri supports US Spanish (in the US only) and French Canadian (in Canada only). UK English, Australian English, and US English are available as options in the UK, Australian, and US Storefronts when English is set as the tvOS language.

With today's update, the fourth-generation Apple TV is gaining sorely needed features to improve the overall user experience, so Apple TV owners will likely want to install the new software right away.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
59 months ago
I didn't get an option to update the remote firmware though!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago
siri remote firmware update now worked. let it charge and didnt do anything for like 10 minutes and when i checked in the settings again, the firmware had a higher number.

never got any info about it. i guess its designed to happen silently.

fw version is now: 0x0245
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago
Same here about the remote firmware!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

i wonder if it needs 50% of battery like other iOS devices. i'll charge it now

edit: more info on remote firmware updates.
battery level is indeed a factor too. it seems to update the firmware when the device is not in use.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/03/01/how-to-update-siri-remote-firmware/

Would you believe I've never even plugged my remote in to charge since I got the Apple TV when it was released? The battery life is so good on this thing.

It was at about half. Guess I'll charge it for this update, then forget about it for months to come again. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

After installing tvOS 9.2, Apple TV owners will be prompted to update their Siri Remotes with new firmware.

does not seem to happen on my apple tv.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

I believe you are correct. "Best quality available" was not there when I originally set up my Apple TV in November. I assume this means that it will output BETTER formats than DD 5.1 if/when they are available in the source material (i.e. perhaps something like DTS-HD, True HD, Atmos, etc.).

I have noticed the audio sounding slightly better than usual, but I could be wrong. Interesting.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...