Apple’s begun allowing developers to implement tvOS’s universal search features in their Apple TV apps, beginning with PBS. As first noted by AppleInsider, Siri content queries now produce deep links from both the PBS and PBS Kids apps.
For instance, a Siri query for a PBS show called “Curious George” brings up the regular search results page with a brand new PBS Kids app option alongside the usual iTunes and Netflix choices.
“A separate search for ‘Antiques Roadshow’ returned a results page showing streaming availability through the PBS app, a separate title from PBS Kids,” writes the publication.
Having tested this on my box, I can confirm that the feature works as advertised. I searched for a PBS show called “American Masters” and, sure enough, I was able to open it in PBS’s free of charge Apple TV app directly from the search results page.
Not unlike iOS 9’s Spotlight Search, tvOS’s universal search exposes content from third-party video-streaming apps to Siri, permitting customers to search for shows using their voice without having to juggle between different apps.
By default, the Apple TV’s Siri supports searching across iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, HBO NOW and Showtime. Thankfully, CEO Tim Cook promised Apple would open up this functionality to other app makers by way of a dedicated API.
“Think about your experience today,” he said. “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.”