tvOS 16.1 now available: Here’s what’s new

While the initial release of tvOS 16 last month was relatively unexciting, tvOS 16.1 is now available for Apple TV with a few new features. Most notably, this update includes a redesigned interface for Siri that is more compact and with more personalized responses.

Siri first came to the Apple TV with the introduction of the now-discontinued Apple TV HD model in 2015. Since that release, the Siri interface has stayed the same. That all changes with tvOS 16.1 today. Apple explains:

This fall, new features coming to the Apple TV experience with tvOS 16 include updates to Siri that will make it even easier for customers to use their voice to control Apple TV and interact with the results.

Siri on Apple TV features a complete redesign, and will be able to recognize each user’s voice, so they can easily access their movies, shows, music, games, and apps, and pick up where they left off. By using the Siri Remote and asking “What should I watch?” users can get tailored recommendations.

The more compact design of Siri on Apple TV allows users to quickly view results without leaving the action onscreen.

Once you press the Siri button on your Apple TV’s Siri Remote, you’ll see the Siri orb appear in the bottom right corner of the screen. Just as in iOS, the Siri icon now animates as you speak. The interface has also become more compact. Instead of showing a bar occupying the entire bottom of the screen, Siri is now just a floating window.

In addition to the new design, there are a few new features with Siri on Apple TV as well. Users with AirPods connected to Apple TV can enable the “Hey Siri” command for hands-free interactions. Responses from Siri will also be tailored to each Apple TV user’s voice for more personalized information.

tvOS 16.1 also adds support for the new Matter smart home standard. Apple explains: “the new smart home connectivity standard enables a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems.”

You can update your Apple TV to tvOS 16.1 today by heading to the Settings app on your TV.

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