Following a recent report by 9to5Mac’s reliable blogger Mark Gurman that a fourth-generation Apple TV will cost between $149 and $199, BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski has corroborated that information, adding that the set-top box will also include a universal search feature.
Billed as another tentpole feature, universal search will allow owners of the forthcoming set-top box to search for a show or movie once “and see results from all sorts of different sources.”
Not only will this feature support searching Apple’s own iTunes Store but also other content sources and multiple streaming video services at once.
“Instead of searching the catalogs of multiple video services one-at-a-time for a particular movie, you’ll now be able to search all — or most of them — at once and then choose the service on which you’d like to watch it,” reads the report.
The article goes on to explain that users will be permitted to search for content by actors and directors, “and run other more targeted searches as well — all with Siri” and with a little help from a content searching engine called Matcha, the video discovery startup Apple acquired back in 2013.
If true, this will be a remarkable improvement over the current state of things.
I love my Apple TV and am using it every day, but navigating the interface has become a cumbersome affair due to tons of icons piling up on the Home screen following each new software update.
I’m using Apple’s Remote app for navigating the Apple TV and text entry but the ability to use natural language spoken commands to sift through mountains of content will be Godsent.
The Apple TV should be announced alongside new iPhones and iPads at Apple’s media event next Wednesday. The device is said to be powered by a faster A8 processor with more storage, run iOS 9, include a dedicated App Store with third-party app and game downloads and feature a revamped remote.
The new remote reportedly has Bluetooth connectivity, dedicated Home and Siri buttons, a touchpad area, a bunch of sensors and built-in mic with “some pretty hardcore voice control,” as per BuzzFeed’s sources who are in position to know such things.
Other sources speculated that Apple will position the new set-top box as a viable alternative to dedicated game consoles. The company is reportedly mulling original content production like Netflix and Amazon for its rumored online-only subscription television service.
Image: second-generation Apple TV running YouTube via FireCore’s newly updated aTVFlash (black) software.