The latest tvOS beta issued to developers on Monday has introduced a long awaited feature to the new Apple TV: voice dictation.
One of our biggest complaints with the fourth-generation Apple TV at launch was text entry. The fact that the video streamer supported Siri but didn’t support dictation for quick search box completion and user account entry seemed bizarre. It also seemed inevitable.
After enabling dictation in Apple tvOS 9.2 beta 3, you can speak into the Siri remote to enter text into any field that previously required a slow and cumbersome series of swipes and clicks across a horizontal row of letters. Dictation supports the spelling of user names and passwords, in addition to quick word entry in search boxes as demonstrated in the MacRumors-produced video above. The update also introduces the ability to search the App Store from anywhere in the Apple TV interface by holding the Siri button and speaking commands like "Search the App Store for Plex" or "What games are in the App Store?"
The tvOS update rectifies other long-standing complaints by adding support for Bluetooth keyboards, iCloud Photo Libraries, and Live Photos. It also introduces the ability to group apps into folders on the Apple TV home screen just like iOS.
Apple TVs are expected to received the tvOS 9.2 update in the spring, with an official date likely to be announced at the rumored March 15th event.