SIRI and Apple TV

tvOS & Apple TV Apps

My wife and I are both totally blind, and I recently bought the 4th generation 2K Apple TV (we don't need the extra pixels available in the 4K). We have determined that the best way for us to operate the unit would be through SIRI; but I cannot find a complete set of commands to have SIRI access several aspects of the system. For example, as the "tech guru" in our house, I got several program series on the system (All in the Family, Andy Griffith, Divorce Court, and more); but once we have a show playing, we can't figure out how to tell SIRI to find the next show in the series or perhaps a show in another series. I have done pretty well with a Bluetooth keyboard and fair with the gestures on the SIRI remote, but my wife is not getting along well with either the keyboard or the gestures on that tiny SIRI remote. I will appreciate any ideas any of you have to gain better operation of the Apple TV. For my part, I'll keep "knocking on it" with the keyboard and occasionally a SIRI command (I am not very good with the gestures on the tiny remote); but I'd like to find a way for Debbie to operate the unit more effectively.
One thing I found odd on the Search function: sometimes when you click Search and a keyboard appears, you can type in what you want or else "knock it in" by scrolling around the remote; but when you press Enter on the keyboard or click the remote, the search does not work, and the keyboard remains active. Very strange.
The Apple Help Desk suggested that we use SIRI for most of the operation of the unit, and we will do that if we can find a set of instructions that will make SIRI accomplish what we want.



Submitted by themusicman08 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Siri can not be instructed to play the next show in an iTunes purchase. You have to do this manually with the remote, or the keyboard. If you take your thumb and pointer finger, put those on the touch pad. You need to use the touch pad and use the rotor function until you get to direct touch. VoiceOver will announce when you get to direct touch. Pretend your closing a jar of something because your going to go around the options with VoiceOver.
If you have NetFlix, then it will play the next episode automatically for you. Searching for things shouldn't be a problem. All you would have to do is use the keyboard and search for what you would want. Then press the enter key. You can also use Siri to do a search and it should find what you want in the iTunes store.

Thanks, Music Man. Assuming that I get the rotor set to Direct Touch, then how do you get to the next show in a series? If you inadvertently got the wrong show, is there a reliable way to go to the next show in the same series? I have seen Direct Touch before, but I didn't know its purpose.
Regarding the Search function, I have used SIRI to find things in iTunes; but in many cases, using the keyboard, when I type in a search item and press Enter, nothing happens; the Enter key does not close the entry mode and start the actual Search process. There should be a reliable way to close the entry process so that the unit would then do the search. I would think that keyboard search should work whenever we find a Search tab. I press Enter on the tab, and the keyboard pops up by saying something like "A Alpha." Entering a search string by gestures on the remote is a real bummer!
Thanks again for your help.

Submitted by Seanoevil on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I am afraid that SIRI on the AppleTV may not have the functionality that you and your Wife are looking for.
In order to get the most out of your Apple TV, I suggest that you try learning how to better use the Apple Remote. To that end,:
Search this site for a series of excellent PodCasts from David Woodbridge on the Apple Gen4, in which He covers using the remote in great detail, as well as SIRI.

As a previous poster mentioned, learn the Rotor Gesture and become familiar with both the Direct Touch setting and the Follow Focus setting. These are similar forms of navigation, but you may find a preference for one over the other. ProTip: Be sure to be in one or the other, otherwise navigation will be problematic.

If you have an IOS Product (iPhone, iPad and maybe an iPod Touch) download the Remote App from Apple. Whenever a text field is encountered, you will be able to use the on screen keyboard to enter characters.

When selecting programs, I find the best solution is to use SIRI for the heavy lifting and then the remote for fine selection. SIRI is great, however, for in program navigation e.g. rewind 5 minutes.

If you have any specific questions not covered by David Woodbridge's podcasts, please ask and I will try to help.


Submitted by themusicman08 on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What kind of keyboard are you using? I have one of the apple bluetooth keyboards and I use that with VoiceOver when searching and have no problems. I haven't tried any other bluetooth keyboards with the Apple tv. As the previous poster mentioned, download the remote app from the app store for your IDevice and use that for easier access. I have big hands and the remote is small but, I manage. Here's a tip! If your remote is charging, you can use the remote app on your IDevice to control your apple tv.