Apple TV update 9.2 supports keyboards, folders, voice dictation and iCloud photos

The latest free update to the new Apple TV was announced today with an array of welcome enhancements to address the device's little headaches, including folders and Siri app store search.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
2 min read
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While Apple dukes it out over iPhone security with the FBI, its far-less-controversial box is set to get incrementally better with the latest free software update.

In CEO Tim Cook's remarks from Apple's event today he touted the fact that the app store has more than 5,000 apps. He mentioned a special March Madness app, exclusive to the box; an app called Solar Walk 2, which "turns your living room into a planetarium"; GrubHub, and a few games.

Today he also announced that the latest software update for the box's TVOS operating system, version 9.2, is now available for download.

So what upgrades can owners expect? As the beta releases indicated, they mostly revolve around making the device easier to use.

Apple TV OS 9.2 gets folders and voice dictation (pictures)

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Siri voice search for the app store

The app store is more prolific than ever, and until now you couldn't use the Siri voice remote to find anything. Now you can. The feature allows you to find specific app titles, as well as categories like Games, by talking into the remote.

Voice dictation

Here's a cool use for the Siri voice remote: Instead of swiping around the horizontal onscreen keyboard to input characters for your username, password and other pieces of text-entry drudgery, you can speak them, letter-by-letter, number-by-number and symbol-by-symbol into the Siri remote's mic. Just make sure to pronounce "#$@~" correctly.

Bluetooth keyboard support

Speaking of making text entry easier, without having to speak at all, the new finally gets a feature the old one has had for years: the ability to connect a Bluetooth keyboard. Of course, the first text-easing feature Apple updated (in version 9.1) was compatibility with the remote app, so you can use your iPhone or iPad to enter info into the .

Home screen folders, new app switcher

That proliferation of apps on your homepage? You can finally organize them into custom folders, just like on your iPhone and iPad, with a few clicks. And the app switcher, which lets you choose between running apps, has been redesigned into a sleeker version.

iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos support

The new software also allows the to display all of the photos stored in users' iCloud Photo library, just like on other Apple devices. Previously the set-top box could only access Photo Stream photos, which expire after a set period. users can also watch Live Photos, where available, which are essentially short video clips recorded before and after the actual photo was taken.

Watch this: Apple TV gets an update with Siri dictation and Live Photos

The update to version 9.2 will be available as a free upgrade today to all new (2015) devices.

See all of the news from Apple's March 21 event.