tvOS Beta Adds Voice Dictation Option For Text Fields

8 February 2016

Apple Developer:

tvOS 9.2 includes new features, bug fixes, and improvements in the OS and SDK.

New features in tvOS 9.2 Beta 3 include:

  • Dictation support for onscreen text entry in countries where Siri is supported
  • Siri support for App Store search. Try saying “Search for “ or “Search for apps”

This was an obvious addition but I am really glad to see Apple iterating on the OS so quickly. They have addressed many of my complaints in just a few months since launching — tvOS 9.2 is expected to be released in March. With the latest beta, not only have they checked another feature request off the list, they’ve also done it really well. I made a quick video of the feature in action, because I think the implementation is slick. Just hold down the Siri button when interacting with a keyboard input, hinted by a cute label that appears inside the search field.

There’s some cool feedback with the visual voice meter too, which is styled differently to the voice meter used for Siri to indicate this is a different action. It looks great and works well. In general, tvOS has very high standards for UI across the system. I’ve commented many times that iOS would be better off if it borrowed inspiration from the Apple TV design team.

Perhaps it helps that tvOS is a clean slate, so every screen and component is being designed fresh. My worst parts of iOS are all stuff that dates back to earlier versions. New features are generally implemented in the flat world to a good standard.