When the new Apple TV shipped without iOS Remote integration, many assumed that Apple was giving up on the app. Thanks to a recent interview, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
One of the frustrating aspects of owning a new Apple TV has been the inability to use Apple’s iPhone Remote app to control the unit and enter text (without having to swipe every which way). Thanks to yesterday’s tvOS update, however, your iPhone can once again control any of Apple’s 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation Apple TV boxes.
In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue dropped a major hint about the future of the Remote app on iOS.
Siri has been a foundational element of the new Apple TV. Instead of searching for a movie on Netflix or iTunes by laboriously entering characters on the screen, you can press a microphone / Siri button on the physical remote control and ask for what you want. If you miss a big of dialogue, you can also use Siri to go back simply by asking “What did they say?”
It’s a clever feature.
Mr. Cue announced that Apple plans to completely overhaul the Remote app experience on iOS, saying, “We’re working on a new Apple TV remote app that will give you the full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone. We’re hoping to ship that in the first half of next year.”
Given its importance for the new Apple TV, then, it’s no surprise that Apple plans to bring Siri Remote to iOS – the platform that originally launched Siri to the world. It’s not known whether the software will come as an update to the iOS Remote, or a completely new app targeted to Apple TV owners.
A new version could see Apple take advantage of the iPhone’s own Siri software, letting users issue Apple TV commands without having to open the app or even unlock their phones.