By Dan Moren
November 27, 2014 8:08 AM PT
Wish List: Siri integration with Apple TV
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
As I noted in my review of the Fire TV Stick last week, I watch a lot of television. Probably too much. Who can say? But as much as I like TV, navigating my manifold smart TV accoutrements is hardly a pleasure.
The Apple TV, with its dinky little aluminum remote, is no exception, as you learn after the seventeenth time you’ve angrily entered your iTunes or Netflix or Hulu account information, one slow, painstaking letter at a time. Yes, you can use the Remote app on iOS to get a virtual keyboard instead, but that’s a pain of its own; you have to find your phone, unlock it, launch the app, connect to your Apple TV, and then enter the information. More often than not, I just suffer through using the remote, because it’s actually faster. (Inertia: the most powerful force in the universe.)
But I long for some sort of voice-based way to direct my Apple TV. We don’t have to be talking Microsoft Kinect or Amazon Echo with their always-listening creepiness. I’m thinking Apple could just harness Siri on my iPhone or iPad and make the intelligent assistant aware that I have an Apple TV.
“Siri,” I might say to my phone, “show me the latest episode of The Flash on my Apple TV.” And up would pop my list of options for watching the newest installment of Barry Allen’s escapades, whether that meant Hulu Plus, the iTunes Store, or so on. It’d be even more useful for movies, so I could watch something that’s available for free on Netflix or HBO Go instead of shelling out money to rent or buy it on iTunes. Yes, that might take some money out of Apple’s pocket, but it’d also be known as the helpful company, the friendly company. The company with a heart. (To paraphrase one of my favorite movies of the season.)
This kind of integration is directly in Apple’s wheelhouse. The company’s great strength, as their executives constantly delight in telling us, is that it makes its own hardware, software, and services, and it can have them all work together in seamless harmony. This, then, seems like the perfect place to exploit those connections and simplify the experience of using set-top boxes.
Plus, it will make the TV-watching experience that much lazier—especially once we can all control our Apple TVs using Siri on our Apple Watches. We may never leave the couch again.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @email@example.com or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]
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