Apple has today released a big software update for the new Apple TV. tvOS 9.2 adds a Podcast app, Siri dictation, improved Siri search, folders, iCloud Photo Library, support for Bluetooth keyboards and a new App switcher. There are now over 5000 apps and games in the tvOS App Store.
tvOS 9.2 released for Apple TV
tvOS is Apple's operating system for the TV. It is based on iOS but adapted to the TV screen. It also has its own dedicated app store. Today’s tvOS 9.2 release adds lots of new features.
First and foremost Apple has added new Siri functionality. Universal search works with more apps and a new dictation feature will let you input speech into text fields for easier search. It also supports user names and password. You can even use Siri to search the App Store. However, international users will be sad to hear that Siri is still limited to only a few languages.
tvOS 9.2 also adds full support for iCloud Photo Library so you can access all of your photos and videos on the living room screen. Live Photos are supported, too. Another new feature is ability to move apps and games to folders – just like on iPhone and iPad. There is also a new Podcast app.
Apple has restored the ability to use Bluetooth keyboards. In addition, the app switcher has been redesigned to better resemble the app switcher on iOS.
5000 apps for Apple TV
At launch in October 2015 the tvOS App Store had approximately 1000 apps. In mid-December it offered 2600 apps and in late January the counter hit 3600 apps.
There are now over 5000 apps for Apple TV, the company said at today’s event. Apple used the opportunity to highlight some games, Solar Walk (a learning app), GrubHub (food ordering), various fitness apps, HBO Now and the NCCA March Madness app. The latter has a unique feature that lets you watch two games side-by-side. The app is also available on many other boxes and Smart TV but only the Apple TV offers this feature.
But there were no major announcements for new apps or games. Apple has confirmed that it is working on a new Remote app for iPhone and iPad that will include full Siri functionality but it is not ready yet.