Apple has confirmed to Buzzfeed News that it will release an update “early next year” to allow Siri full control of the Music app on the new Apple TV.
The new device, launched this week, has been praised for its “universal search” feature that allows users to find video content from multiple sources (Netflix, Hulu, iTunes etc.) through a single Siri-powered search interface. Presently Siri can respond to complex requests about TV and film, but knows nothing of music. That’s set to change in a big update due after Christmas.
Early reviews peg the Apple TV Music app as a winner in terms of design and layout, but lament the fact that Siri support isn’t yet included. Though music playing isn’t the primary aim of the device, it’s definitely a key feature in creating a “living room entertainment system” capable of uniting video, games and music. It feels a little inconsistent that you can ask the Apple TV to “find that episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton” and get an instant match, but get no response for something as simple as “play rock music.”
It’s bizarre that Apple has omitted this feature from the get-go – especially considering Siri is already very good at talking about music on iOS. The company has increasingly been pushing its digital assistant center stage, and now people’s Apple Music free trials are running out you’d think full integration with the new Apple TV would be a priority.
However, the inclusion of an App Store with tvOS is a huge deal, and we’re bound to see countless great apps and games from third-party developers in the coming months. Once there’s a good selection of apps available, and Apple release its promised big update, the Apple TV will surely be the TV box to contend with.