universal search Stories February 22, 2016

Apple has added several new channels and cable internet services onto the new Apple TV universal search and Siri search today, following the addition of Fox and National Geographic earlier in the month. Today’s enhancements brings Watch ABC, Disney ChannelDisney Jr and Disney X.D into the mix allowing users to quickly search across these services in the Apple TV UI. As shown in the screenshot, Modern Family now lists ABC as a viewing option alongside Netflix, iTunes and Hulu. Selecting Watch ABC takes the user directly to the app with the show ready to watch.

Unfortunately, international Apple TV users continue to be left in the dark regarding ‘universal’ search. Outside of the US, a handful of countries get iTunes + Netflix integration in search results … the remainder only get iTunes.

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universal search Stories February 4, 2016

When Apple initially announced the fourth-generation Apple TV, the company made a point to focus on a new feature called universal search. This capability allows users to perform a single search using Siri or the Search app and see content across multiple channels. Until today, the feature was limited to Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, PBS, PBS Kids, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, HBO Go and HBO Now, but now, three new apps have gained support for universal search: Nat Geo TV, Fox Now, and FXNow.

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universal search Stories January 19, 2016

Former Chomp co-founder and Apple TV designer Ben Keighran leaving company

Chomp co-founder Ben Keighran is exiting his role at Apple according to a new report out of Re/code:

Ben Keighran, who joined Apple four years ago when it bought a startup he co-founded, says he is leaving soon and eventually intends to start something new. “I want to create not just a killer product, but my own iconic company,” he said.

Keighran joined Apple in 2012 when it bought his firm Chomp to overhaul iTunes and App Store search. Universal search among key media partners is a major feature of the new Apple TV. Chomp’s other co-founder Cathy Edwards joined Apple through that acquisition and worked on Maps Quality before leaving in March 2014.

The report notes that Keighran oversaw “the look and feel of the software on the new Apple TV” and ranked three steps down from Eddy Cue who runs the iTunes team. Here’s to hoping whoever takes Keighran’s place Chomps down on the finicky Siri Remote and creates something a little more ergonomic … kidding, Keighran likely played a key role in Apple TV’s universal search feature through Siri which works pretty well.

It is an interesting pattern to observe Apple employees brought on through company acquisitions leave Apple after the product they were brought on to help make ships to customers. Beats Music’s Ian Rogers comes to mind. My guess is people that create these companies are better suited at creating on their own versus working within a major company like Apple.

universal search Stories October 3, 2015

The Apple TV is launching later in October but many of the details about the device remain under wraps. At the announcement, Apple announced that the Apple TV Siri universal search feature will include data from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO. Many had hoped that Apple would be more open with this feature, allowing Siri to incorporate data from third-party services without requiring a special Apple partnership. In a move that will please many, Tim Cook has announced that Apple will offer an API for universal search, after all, via an interview with Buzzfeed.

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universal search Stories September 2, 2015

The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9th and released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources. While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body, it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model…

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Over the weekend 9to5Mac reported that the long-awaited Apple TV 4 hardware will be priced under $200 with executives deciding between a “starting price point of either $149 or $199”, and today Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski has corroborated that information. Apple is said to have settled on the $149 price point for Apple TV 4, which is higher than Apple TV 2 and 3’s original $99 price point but lower than Apple TV 1’s original $299 price. Apple TV 3, which we reported will remain in the lineup, was lowered to $69 (with an even lower street price) earlier this year. expand full story

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