Apple Releases tvOS 9.2 with Support for Bluetooth Keyboards, Voice Dictation, and More

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released tvOS 9.2 for the fourth-generation Apple TV, bringing with it a number of significant new features; bug fixes;and under-the-hood improvements.

Accessibility-Related Changes and Improvements in tvOS 9.2

We were not in a position to test this update before its release, so do not know at this time if it includes any accessibility-related changes or improvements. So, if you encounter any changes, please be sure to let us know in the comments below.

New Features in tvOS 9.2

tvOS 9.2 is probably the most significant update for the tvOS operating system since its launch with the fourth-generation Apple TV in October of last year, and it brings a number of new features that are sure to be welcome by users.

Support for Bluetooth Keyboards

Many people were surprised and disappointed that the fourth-generation Apple TV launched with no support for bluetooth keyboards. tvOS 9.2 corrects this omission--now allowing a keyboard to be paired to the Apple TV for text input.

Home Screen Changes and Improvements

Those who have seen their Home screens fill with icons for downloaded apps will be pleased to learn that tvOS 9.2 enables grouping of apps into folders. Elsewhere on the Home screen, the App Switcher sports a new look and feel.

As mentioned earlier, we were unable to test these features before release of this update, so we are still to learn how these changes will effect VoiceOver users. Thus, please do post your experiences in the comments.

Dictation and other Siri Improvements

tvOS 9.2 introduces support for voice dictation, which will allow you to dictate text and spell things such as usernames and passwords rather than typing them. Siri can also now be used to search the App Store on your Apple TV.

Other Changes

  • Improved motion sensor performance with the Apple TV remote.
  • Support for iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos.
  • Support for additional sound bars and AV receivers.
  • The introduction of MapKit, which enables developers to incorporate maps into their tvOS apps.

Learn More

To help you learn more about some of these new features, Jonathan Mosen has recorded a short series of podcasts:

How to Update your Apple TV

To install tvOS 9.2 on a fourth-generation Apple TV, go to the Settings channel, then look for the System section near the bottom. From here, look for Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install.

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Submitted by Troy on Monday, March 21, 2016

One fix I've noticed is Siri now beeps again when holding the Siri button as expected.