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Apple releases tvOS / iOS 12.2 with Siri-to-TV, new AirPlay 2 features

26 Mar 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Apple has released tvOS 12.2 and iOS 12.2 for Apple TV and iPhone/iPad. The software includes a number of TV-related features such as Siri-to-TV, AirPlay 2 multitasking, improved TV controls from iPhone/iPad, and support for future HomeKit TVs.

Ask Siri to play a movie on your TV

  Siri-to-TV on Apple TV
After having updated your Apple TV to tvOS 12.2 and your iPhone/iPad to iOS 12.2, you will be able to ask Siri on iPhone/iPad to play live sports, movies, and TV shows from services such as iTunes, HBO and Netflix on your Apple TV.

For example, asking Siri to “Play Jason Bourne on Apple TV” will turn on your TV (via Apple TV’s HDMI CEC) and start playback, if you have the movie in your iTunes library. If you do not have the movie in your iTunes library, it will jump to a screen showing you availability on other services such as Netflix.

Here is one such example where we asked Siri to “Play House of Cards on Apple TV”.

Siri-to-TV on Apple TV

Siri-to-TV is currently supported on Apple TV but will also come to TVs from other manufacturers such as LG, Sony, and Vizio. Apple says that it requires AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, which excludes Samsung TVs.

At this time, the Siri-to-TV features are not available in all regions. It appears to work only in those regions where the ‘TV’ app has been officially released. A redesigned version of the ‘TV’ app will launch in over 100+ regions this May.

The company also released 12.2 software for the HomePod but the speaker is still not capable of taking Siri commands relating to video playback on Apple TV. It is likely to be included in a future update.

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on TV

iOS 12.2 lays the foundation for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support in third-party TVs. These features are expected to roll out in TVs from LG, Sony and Vizio sometime over the next few months. Apple TV currently has limited HomeKit support whereas compatible TVs will apparently support HomeKit features that allow you to turn on/off your TV and switch inputs.

In addition, iOS 12.2 includes ‘AirPlay multitasking’ that “allows you to browse other apps, as well as play other short form audio and video files locally on your device without interrupting AirPlay”.

Lastly, iOS 12.2 includes a redesigned TV remote interface along with a new icon in the control center on iPhone/iPad. The new remote interface lets you control Apple TV and compatible TVs from other manufacturers. There are also new playback controls on the iPhone/iPad lock screen.

iOS 12.2 and tvOS 12.2 are available to download now.

Apple tvOS / iOS 12.2

tvOS 12.2
This update includes general performance and stability improvements and these features:
- Siri: Ask Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to play what you want to watch on your TV, and control what’s playing.
- Apple TV Remote: With iOS 12.2, you can access the Apple TV Remote right from the Lock screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So you can easily play, pause, rewind, and control your Apple TV with just a tap.

iOS 12.2
- Ask Siri on your iPhone or iPad to play any video, show, movie, sports game, or channel on Apple TV. For example, “Hey Siri, play Free Solo on my TV”

- Dedicated TV controls in Control Center and on the Lock Screen give you quick access to TV controls
- AirPlay multitasking for video allows you to browse other apps, as well as play other short form audio and video files locally on your device without interrupting AirPlay
- AirPlay destinations are now grouped by content type making it faster for you to find what device you want to play to

- Improves stability and performance of Apple TV Remote on iOS

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