Apple has launched a revamped version of Apple TV alongside new iPhone and iPad devices.
The new version of Apple’s media streaming unit, which is the first major update to the platform in five years, features a new touch-based remote control integrated with Siri, allowing users to search for content using voice commands.
According to Apple, Siri can be used to search for films and television shows by title, genre, cast, crew, rating and popularity. Search results are pulled from a number of content providers, including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and US cable network Showtime. Content can be streamed in 1080p full HD.
The latest generation of Apple TV also features a new operating system called tvOS, which is based loosely on Apple’s smartphone operating system.
The company is making the SDK for tvOS available to developers, allowing them to access APIs for the remote’s built-in accelerometer gyroscope and touch interface so they can make new apps specifically for Apple TV.
Apple TV will launch in late October in 80 countries. However, Siri remote functionality will be restricted to just the UK, US, France, Spain, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Eddy Cue, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, said: “There has been so much innovation in entertainment and programming through iOS apps, we want to bring that same excitement to the television. Apps make the TV experience even more compelling for viewers and we think apps represent the future of TV.”
Apple TV was unveiled alongside new smartphones and tablets from Apple, including the expected iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
The new devices feature force touch - labelled “3D Touch” by Apple - which registers various inputs based on the pressure placed on the display. Apple was somewhat beaten to the punch with this technology by Huawei, which introduced something similar with the launch of its Mate S smartphone last week.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are also support LTE-A thanks to Apple’s new 64-bit A9 chip, which the company said support up to 23 LTE bands: “the most in any smartphone”.
A new 12-megapixel camera sensor has also been included, which supports 4K video capture.
Meanwhile, the new iPad Pro is larger than previous Apple tablets, with a 12.9-inch Retina display and optional keyboard and stylus accessories.
Apple’s new smartphones hit shelves on September 25th, with the iPad Pro to follow in November.
Cupertino’s latest roster of devices will be powered by iOS 9, which supports new multi-window and multi-tasking functions, such as the ability to work in a second app without leaving the one currently opened.
Meanwhile, picture-in-picture allows users to play video while browsing the web, for example.
Finally, Apple revealed an update to its smartwatch operating system, which comes with new watch faces, improved performance and wider support for third-party applications.