If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

Summary: All signs point to the cryptic comment recorded in the new Steve Jobs bio -- that he "finally cracked" the right way to create an Apple television -- referring to Siri as the key to a super-simple living room experience. The New York Times surmises that a voice-controlled TV is in Apple's future, with potentially revolutionary ramifications.

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All signs point to the cryptic comment recorded in the new Steve Jobs bio -- that he "finally cracked" the right way to create an Apple television -- referring to Siri as the key to a super-simple living room experience. The New York Times surmises that a voice-controlled TV is in Apple's future, with potentially revolutionary ramifications.

It would be revolutionary, if it wasn't already possible to do some of those things with Google TV -- the original, much-derided one. The few Google TV owners out there can already download the Google TV Remote app for their Android phone or iPhone and use voice commands to search for content.

Likewise, Google has loaded voice search onto its Android phones long before Siri was added to the latest iPhone. But here's where the Apple difference comes into play. Google Voice Search is a feature, whereas Siri is being promoted as an experience. With its new ads, Apple is showing you how Siri can change your life, and presumably it will try to do the same thing when and if a Siri-powered Apple TV does eventually emerge. You can almost see the ads now: one good-looking person after the next turning the TV on, changing channels, searching for movies, recording shows, all with Siri.

This is precisely the Apple m.o. used to dominate the market with the iPod and iPad, which were able to defeat competing products that out-featured them. The iPhone might have done the same thing if Apple didn't roll it out with only a single carrier.

It doesn't have to be the same result if Apple does indeed introduce a Siri-flavored TV. That's because there aren't any signs that an Apple television will be released in the immediate future. It gives Google time to promote the voice capabilities of Google TV as it launches version 2.0 of the platform, as well as to work with TV manufacturers to bake those features into new sets. In essence, it has to think like Apple in order to preempt Apple. It ultimately won't matter to consumers that Google was first to let you use your voice to search for content through your TV, in the same way that it didn't matter that there were MP3 players before Apple introduced the iPod.

Google was helped enormously when Apple tethered its iPhone initially to AT&T, as it gave a huge opening to Android to provide a similar smartphone experience if you were with another carrier. Otherwise, Google hasn't done well when it's involved itself with hardware. But it has the blueprint, the critical feature, and the headstart it needs to beat Apple to the punch in the TV game.

Will it? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Google, Mobility

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Talkback

27 comments
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  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

    What will google do about theorizing by tech writers about a product that may or may not exist? Probably not much.
    Ididar
    • Also, for now, Siri is more different from Voice Actions than just

      @Ididar: "feature vs experience"; Siri has AI, and VA is not so much yet. And Andy Rubin of Google said Android does not need AI assistant.
      DDERSSS
      • SIRI does not have AI

        @DeRSSS
        Unless you are coining a "marketing" term.

        Scene: evening poker game.
        Note to self: turn the d@mn SIRI OFF! so it stops trying to answer questions not asked to it.

        :D
        rhonin
      • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

        @DeRSSS I have to agree, I have used it or a week, if it has AI hen its IQ is like 50.

        What Siri has is a certain amount of canned control questions, voice recognition and a database through which to search for answers but it isn't super intelligent.
        slickjim
      • Someday, someone, is going to change "AI" to the real term that it needs to

        be, and that's "ET", or "Emulation Technology".<br><br>No device, computer or tablet or smartphone, will possess "intelligence" and what they'll contain is technology that emulates, in very limited fashions, what humans and other life-forms can do.

        I probably should trademark that term, "ET", but, I prefer that people start using the right terminology.
        adornoe
  • Siri and its impact

    besides the funny shit siri says to its users
    http://thetechnologycafe.com/siri-and-its-jokesmore-shit-and-funny-stuff-siri-says/

    I think siri can be a wonderful software for interactive surfing of the tv, command it to show sports and there you go on the the soccer league
    samzbest@...
    • One thought..

      @samzbest@...

      How do you determine when SIRI is active?
      and how?
      rhonin
      • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

        @rhonin On the phone you have to push a button.
        slickjim
      • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

        @Peter Perry - Actually, you can activate Siri by holding the phone to your ear.
        jonbren
  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

    This is exactly what I was thinking .. Apple will have Siri change the channel ..record TV shows.. set some feature where when switching on a TV you first see the weather channel or news channel .. and those Apples ads will show as though Apple invented all these .. sending hoards of fanboys lining up for the Apple TV .. if there will be one ..
    Sanjaypam
    • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

      @Sanjaypam

      You wouldn't want those hypothetical capabilities present on your home system? Really?
      kenosha77a
      • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

        My comments were more in line with the subject of the Article .. what will Google do about it?..wake up Google and get TV right.. sure I would love those features ..
        Sanjaypam
    • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

      @Sanjaypam That is why it is up to real world people to debunk their BS.

      Besides, without a pricetag north of 3k this TV would not top Samsung, Sony, LG and the like.
      slickjim
    • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

      I agree ... just keep doing all of that with your Android or Windows phone.
      john_gillespie@...
  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

    Easy, invest in another product...

    Speak2it is said to be the best...

    VLingo on Android is more integrated than Siri on iOS and has better Speach recognition.

    Iris uses the same tech as Siri and is actually more funny.

    By the way, you can speak directly to wolfram in Siri so the functionality is something that Apple doesn't own even if they have a clever front end for it.
    slickjim
  • Brainwash the '2nd class citizen' iPhone 4 owners?

    Is that it then?
    Hype up Siri so iPhone 4 owners now feel like 2nd class citizens. I guess culling the older Siri owners did not matter because so few iPhone 4 owners used it until Apple said 'jump'.
    albionstreet
  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

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    contact me via e-mail. All e-mails I receive are <a href="http://www.haberkusagi.com">haber</a> as confidential ? unless you want a mention/credit line, of course.) check out and ultimately add, please don?t hesitate to contact me via e-mail. All e-mails I receive are <a href="http://www.ebeveyniz.net">gebelik</a> as confidential

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  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

    Voice recognition is a nice feature ... for when you want it. I simply do not see it becoming the dominant method of controlling. People composing email or sending text messages in public places don't want everyone hearing every email or text so they wont be using by default. I can see people sitting in a private office using it more. As for TV control, that's just what the family living room needs ... two kids yelling at the TV to keep fighting over the channel ... casual conversation changing the channel, and so on. Some people just want to lay on the couch and lazily browse the guide seeing what they want to watch, not talk to the TV for 10 mins to find something to watch. Granted, when you know exactly what you want to watch it would be easy to do a voice search ... so, as I said above, occasionally useful, not the only or even primary way.
    Ididar
  • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

    Why does Siri need to be implemented into an Apple TV set (or AppleTV)? It's already on the iPhone and soon the iPad and iPod Touch. I'm hoping once AppleTV is connected to the home network Siri will be smart enough to recognize it on the network as an extension of the iDevices. So dictation will be done from our current devices, not yelling from across the livingroom at an AppleTV (with background noise etc). So from your current iDevice: "Siri, play the latest American Idol on Apple TV." "Siri, send my Angry Bird game to AppleTV."

    I will add, I don't see Apple getting into the whole production of TVs. Apple is about pushing out new devices into consumers hands each year and extending iOS and its ecosystem. How often do consumers purchase a new TV?

    My bet is they will introduce an even smaller friendlier AppleTV that maybe plugs directly into our current TV's HDMI ports. It will be at an even lower price ($29) or bundled free with the purchase of an Apple device. The idea is to get it into as many hands as possible. Once brought home and connected to the home network, the iOS users will be able to Send (or mirror) wirelessly whatever content or apps that's on their iDevice onto the TV, via Airplay. Stream content and music from iCloud to AppleTV. Play multiplayer games from users devices that's broadcast onto the TV (think party settings). Photo Stream from an iPhone on the road to AppleTV at home. Of course iTunes movies and shows and services like Netflix will still be there. Basically getting the 250 million iOS users cheaply and easily turning their current TVs into an enjoyable feature-rich "AppleTV", putting pressure onto content holders and networks to bend and come to the users. Not appeasing to them like Google is trying to do with GoogleTV.
    dave95.
    • RE: If Siri is the key to an Apple TV, what will Google do about it?

      @dave95.

      Interesting hypothesis. (Making an HDMI docking, inexpensive Apple TV).

      I suspect that might happen. Call it the "Apple TV shuffle".

      I also suspect that there will be a genuine Apple TV "all in one unit" that will be essentially a large iMac that is controlled with a small Siri enabled remote control unit. (Perhaps even smaller than the current Apple TV remote unit and more like the original plastic Apple TV remote device.)
      kenosha77a