Apple introduced a huge update to the Apple TV today, with tight Siri integration, a touch-sensitive remote and a dedicated app store for the device.
Siri is at the heart of the new Apple TV. A mic in the remote allows users to speak to the TV, asking it to play certain movies, find shows by genre and even find out information about the movie you’re watching or other information. That feature is similar to the voice-controlled remote for the Amazon Fire TV.
The new Apple TV remote also has a touch-sensitive glass surface to make navigating easier. Users can swipe around on-screen menus, or scrub through shows to find the scene they want to watch. It also includes Bluetooth so you don’t have to point it directly at the box, and motion sensors for playing games, reminiscent of the controller for the original Nintendo Wii console.
Apple also introduced a new operating system for the device, tvOS, based on the iOS mobile operating system for the iPad and iPhone, aiming to create a more seamless experience for developers.
The new app store allows developers to code for tvOS, the operating system for the Apple TV. Developers can build games for the console, including Guitar Hero and Crossy Road. They can also build shopping apps like Gilt, travel apps like AirBNB and even Zillow for looking at your next house on the big screen.
Even what were once standard video channels on the older Apple TV are getting an upgrade. MLB.com at Bat is coming to the Apple TV with split-screen video, access to stats and even notifications when your favorite player is a bat when you’re watching another game.
The new Apple TV is coming in October for $149 with 32GB storage and $199 for 64GB storage.