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New API for Apple TV 2 will allow content providers to “join in”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed in an interview with Buzzfeed News that content providers will be able to “join in” with Apple’s new Universal Search function on the forthcoming Apple TV 2 thanks to a new API that will launch.

Currently, only five providers will be available via the search. iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO. While these are major providers in the US, those outside of the region will have noted a significant lack in desirable, local services.

However, Cook has said Apple will launch an API which should make it fairly simple for further providers to tap into the Universal Search, allowing users to search a much wider and more relevant list of services.

Very simple

“So we’ll have five major inputs into universal search initially,” Cook said. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”

“I think that many, many people will want to be in that search,” he continues. “And that’s great for users. Think about your experience today. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have the content you want to watch in an app, you sometimes don’t remember exactly where that show is, so you’re going to Netflix or Hulu or Showtime. You shouldn’t have to do that. It should be very simple.”

Cook also indicated that the search wouldn’t prioritize its own iTunes service where users can buy individual movies, episodes, or whole series of content – apparently, iTunes content will only be listed if subscription services like Netflix and HBOGo don’t have it.

The Apple TV 2 is expected to arrive later this month and will contain voice-activation features (Siri), a new App Store with a big games focus, which can be controlled by a touch-based remote. There will be two tiers; 32GB and 64GB which will cost $149 and $199 respectively.

Read our coverage of the Apple TV 2’s launch to learn more about the device and its new features.

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