tvOS 9.2 beta includes voice dictation to replace annoying keyboard

Enlarge (credit: MacRumors)

When we reviewed the new Apple TV and tvOS, one of our biggest complaints with the core experience was text entry with the Siri Remote. The scrolling and swiping was inaccurate and time-consuming—it's a big pain during initial setup and text-driven searches, and it is at best a step sideways from the old Apple TV software keyboard.

Apple released the third beta of tvOS 9.2 yesterday, and among its new features was a new text dictation feature that will let users spell out usernames and passwords letter by letter with their voices instead of the trackpad. The feature is driven by Siri, so it will only work in countries where Siri is available, but for those users it looks like a decent way to save time while typing things out.

This is all still subject to change—Apple has been known to test out new features in beta builds before removing them in the final version. That's pretty rare, though, and complaints about text entry were loud enough that it's not surprising to see Apple working on a fix. We'll be giving the final version of tvOS 9.2 a closer look when it's released, possibly at or soon after Apple's rumored product event in March. The update will also add Bluetooth keyboard support, folders for apps, and an updated multitasking switcher.

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