Apple TV Software Gets A Big Upgrade

June 13, 2016, 6:08 PM UTC

The Apple TV’s operating system will be getting a makeover, Apple announced on Monday.

The upcoming tvOS will include major improvements to Siri, Apple’s voice activated digital assistant, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services said at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, or WWDC. The service will now be able to search YouTube, dramatically expanding the amount of content that it can search beyond the 650,000 movies and television shows it can currently search.

Siri will also be able to search videos by topics like sports or drama.

In addition, Apple said it would make it easier to sign into individual apps. Users will be able to be automatically authenticated by their cable or satellite providers to get access to apps rather than needing to sign into app individually.

The updates announced Monday mark a major upgrade to Apple TV (AAPL). Just a few years ago, the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called Apple TV a “hobby” and the company’s focus on it seemed questionable.

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Last year, however, all that changed when Apple announcing that the Apple TV would become a core part of its hardware strategy. The company changed it focus on merely streaming videos and added built-in video storage. Most importantly, it added an app store, where developers could make a wide range of third-party apps available.

In the year since Apple unveiled tvOS, the Apple TV’s has added 6,000 apps to its store. It’s also received some minor tweaks, like the ability to control the device by voice, to make it a bit easier to use.

Key Speakers At The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)Cue speaks during the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 13, 2016.David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

The updates unveiled at this year’s WWDC take that a bit farther by adding a new app for the remote control that makes it easier for users to control their set-top box. In addition, Apple said that it has added several new apps, including streaming video app Sling, which lets users watch live video. Apple’s Cue also says that the operating system will automatically download apps to the Apple TV after they’ve already been downloaded on its owner’s other iOS device.

The new version of tvOS comes amid a several other software announcements by Apple at WWDC, including a new version of Apple’s watchOS.

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Although Apple’s keynote is the main attraction at WWDC, it is actually just a small part of the broader conference. Over five days, Apple holds workshops and tutorials for developers. The company also showcases its new operating systems to attendees so they can try out its latest software before they make their way to consumers.

Apple’s tvOS will be available sometime in the fall as a free update on latest Apple TV devices.

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