While the new Apple TV’s Siri Remote is one of the best features of the device, only users in a handful of countries can take advance of the universal search functionality.
Launching last week, Siri support is only available Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. And it only supports five languages – English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.
That pales in comparison to Siri on iOS devices, which is available in 29 different countries and a large number of languages.
And we’re finally hearing a strong reason for the discrepancy. In a new interview conducted by German site MacPrime, Apple project managers behind the new device said that Siri on the Apple TV is vastly different than the virtual assistant you know and love on the iPhone and iPad.
According to the Apple employees, Siri on the set-top box is designed with a special focus on television and film content including film titles, actor names, directors, producers, and more. Apple is working on programming Siri with more languages and different phonetic pronunciations with a focus on entertainment. But there’s currently no timeframe for when Apple is planning to officially expand that support.
In countries without Siri support, the control device is simply called the Apple TV Remote. Instead of a button to activate Siri, the remote will instead offer a button to initiate an on-screen search.
Along with searching for entertainment content, you can use Siri on the Apple TV to do things like check the weather, see the latest sports score, open apps, check stocks, and even control what you’re watching on the screen.
In just a few days with my Apple TV, Siri support has been one of my favorite features. At least for me, it has been extremely accurate and fast. I’m glad to see Apple is working on expanding it to other countries and languages.