According to iOS 7.1 source code files first spotted by developer Pierre Blasquez, the Apple TV has been added to the list of devices that Siri supports. While that change doesn’t have any practical application for consumers yet, it could be a sign that Apple plans to bring its voice assistant to users of its set-top box. It would make sense, especially considering that Amazon’s Fire TV recently launched with support for voice search.
As shown by Amazon’s new hardware, voice search solves a significant problem in the world of streaming video: it’s difficult for users to find what they’re searching for using a remote without a keyboard. Given Apple’s renewed commitment to its set-top box, it makes sense that the company would want to bring Siri to the living room.
The move could also be a sign of where Apple plans to go with Siri in the future. The Apple TV has dozens of apps, and early reaction to the Fire TV shows that people want to search all of their available video services, not just the primary service attached to the set-top box. In order to make it possible for people to search for content from Netflix or YouTube using Siri, Apple would have to make it possible for third parties to interface with the assistant.
In the past, Apple has chosen to partner with certain providers like Yelp or Wolfram Alpha on a case-by case basis. But with new channels coming to the Apple TV every month, it seems like it would be difficult to use that model with every new provider. That means Apple could make it possible for third parties to hook their apps up to Siri.