The Apple TV Update

Today Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the latest software update for the box's TVOS operating system, version 9.2, is now available for download.

So what upgrades can Apple TV owners expect? As the beta releases indicated, they mostly revolve around making the device easier to use.

Siri voice search for the app store

The Apple TV app store is more prolific than ever, and until now you couldn't use the Siri voice remote to find anything. Now you can. The feature allows you to find specific app titles, as well as categories like Games, by talking into the remote.

Voice dictation

Here's a cool use for the Siri voice remote: Instead of swiping around the horizontal on-screen keyboard to input characters for your username, password and other pieces of text-entry drudgery, you can speak them, letter-by-letter, number-by-number and symbol-by-symbol into the Siri remote's mic. Just make sure you pronounce "#$@~" correctly.

Bluetooth keyboard support

Speaking of making text entry easier, without having to speak at all, the new Apple TV finally gets a feature the old one has had for years: the ability to connect a Bluetooth keyboard. Of course, the first text-easing feature Apple updated (in version 9.1) was compatibility with the remote app, so you can use your iPhone or iPad to enter info into the Apple TV.

Home screen folders, new app switcher

That proliferation of apps on your homepage? You can finally organize them into custom folders, just like on your iPhone and iPad, with a few clicks. And the app switcher, which lets you choose between running apps, has been redesigned into a sleeker version.

iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos support

The new software also allows the Apple TV to view all of the photos stored in users' iCloud Photo library, just like on other Apple devices. Previously the set-top box could only access Photo Stream photos, which expire after a set period. Apple TV users can also watch Live Photos, where available, which are essentially short video clips recorded before and after the actual photo.

The update to version 9.2 will be available as a free upgrade today to all new (2015) Apple TV devices.


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