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First big Apple TV update adds Siri-based Music support

Less than two months after the launch of the new Apple TV, the first big update to the operating system has been released. tvOS 9.1 adds Siri compatibility for Apple Music and support for the iOS Remote app – two features that many believe should have been available from launch.

Apple Music

The fourth-generation Apple TV is operated by the included Siri Remote, with an emphasis on voice commands – but until now Siri was woefully unable to help with music-related requests. Apple spent a lot of time making sure Siri was competent at searching for movies and TV shows, but originally said we may have to wait until 2016 for Apple Music support. This update comes earlier than expected and is a very welcome improvement to the operating system.

This means all the capabilities we’re used to from iOS Siri are now available on the big screen. It works really nicely on the Apple TV, with impressively fast response times: ask Siri to play a certain album, or the best tracks from 1979, and it can do that. Siri can now control playback at your command, too. It’s shocking that until today even “skip this track” wasn’t a recognized command, but those days are long gone. Apple Music has landed on the TV properly.

Remote app

The secondary feature added in tvOS 9.1 will be just as important to many users. Apple has added support for the existing Remote app, allowing for playback control from an iPhone or iPad in addition to the Siri Remote. Most helpfully this provides a keyboard input which will speed up the setup process no end – many users have complained about the painstaking process of typing in email address and passwords with the Apple TV interface.

How to install

If you have the latest Apple TV and want to upgrade, launch the Settings app on the TV and navigate to the System section. Choose Software Updates and select Update Software followed by Download and Install. After a few minutes and user prompts, the device will restart and voila! You’ve got the latest version of tvOS.

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