The wait is over for Apple TV owners looking forward to a new remote control option. The official Apple TV Remote app has been released by Apple after being revealed earlier this year. Once installed, any compatible iOS device will function as a remote control for second, third and fourth-generation Apple TV set-top boxes. Not only does the app simplify text entry with a keyboard for search fields, it offers full control of media playback.
Apple has released a slew of firmware updates this week, including tvOS 9.2.2 for the Apple TV. While the 9.2.2 update does not include any of the new features that are coming with tvOS 10 this fall, the update is worth installing. Over the past two months, Apple has worked on many bug fixes, performance improvements, and security enhancements for the fourth-generation Apple TV.
"Siri intelligence" is a new feature in iOS 10 that includes deep learning algorithms and advanced recognition technology to group photos by people, places and objects. The new feature allows a user to easily search their photos by topics, such as "dogs" or by objects, facial recognition and more.
Siri intelligence will also offer QuickType suggestions in the Messages app, and create new Calendar events based on specific phrases. For example, if someone asks "where are you," your QuickType keyboard will offer you the ability to quickly share your location information.
Universal search on the fourth-generation Apple TV continues to improve. The latest enhancement brings multiple new channels into the mix, providing an easy way to find content anywhere with a single question to Siri. Nine new channels are taking advantage of the feature, including History, Food Network, Travel Channel, Lifetime, and A&E.
Big changes could be on the horizon for the Siri personal assistant. According to reports, Apple is planning to launch an SDK for Siri at WWDC next month. This would open the voice assistant to third-party developers. Apple is also said to be working on new hardware to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home.