Code references in iOS 7.1 and iOS 7.1.1 has revealed that Apple may be working on adding support for Siri voice assistant feature to the next generation Apple TV.
The file is a supporting property-list resource for Assistant (Apple’s internal name for Siri), containing information about the feature. The UIDeviceFamily array declares what platforms are compatible with the feature.
As shown by Apple’s documentation, ‘1’ and ‘2’ represent the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad families. The ‘3’ represents the Apple TV family.
There have been rumors that Apple has been working on a television set, which could include Siri for extensive voice control rather than the conventional remote control. So the code references seem to be in line with that report.
Code references for the new Apple TV was discovered in iOS 7 earlier in the year as well, which revealed that the new Apple TV could be a major upgrade.
There were rumors that Apple will unveil the new Apple TV in April, and will go on sale by Christmas holidays. However, those rumors were squashed by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s future product plans based on his sources in the supply chain, expects Apple to launch the new Apple TV in September or October this year.
The next Apple TV could mirror current models with a set-top box form factor that’ll plug into a HDTV. It’ll ship with a faster processor than the current generation Apple TV and new UI that’ll make it easier to browse through content. The device could piggyback on top of existing cable service and provide a way for customers to watch their cable TV in rooms that don’t have a set-top box. Apple could be bringing back old ideas like a $30 bundle of “next day” TV or ad-skip that’ll allow it to differentiate its product from the current lineup of Roku, TiVo and other media playing devices.