Dan Moren wrote a post over on Six Colors where he brings up his wish for Siri integration with Apple TV. He details several points where Siri would make using the device smoother, and each hypothetical is an improvement over the current input schemes. However, I feel like Touch ID would be a more practical wish (I probably don’t understand how wishes work). Before I explain why I would prioritize Touch ID, let me detail a couple things that keep me from being super-excited about Siri on Apple TV.
I’m bullish on Siri being useful in a living room. When I first got my iPhone 6, with iOS 8, I felt like I was in The Future. Until The Future misunderstood nearly everything relating to proper nouns, and locations. Media is Proper Noun City. I have had very little success getting Siri to queue up specific artists, or albums. In Dan Moren’s example of The Flash what if it returned Flash Gordon (king of the impossible)? Even if she does understand the proper noun, she’s still going to prompt for a user to pick which thing they wanted, as so often happens with inquiries to Siri. Dan mentions seeing search results listed for Hulu or Netflix, but what if you forgot to log in to those? Even if the list has the thing you want, you still need an input device to select the result you want and confirm viewing, or purchasing it.
Someone might wonder why touching something is better, or easier, than talking, so let me ‘splain why. Apple TV currently requires you enter your iTunes ID password when you set up and log in to the device. This is annoying. You have to do this before you setup your Apple Remote App on your iPhone too, so you get to use the milled aluminum stick with the six buttons. It is not fun. You also have the interesting experience of Apple not prompting you for a password on your purchases because they know how annoying that is. So … that seems unsound if you live with people that might buy stuff on your iTunes account. The parental controls are also pretty clunky. What if you could just hold your finger on your iPhone, or your remote, for a second and it just figured out who to log in, what content they were authorized to see, or buy? What if your Touch ID logged you in to anything tied to your account, like Netflix, or Hulu? What if you used it to purchase your Netflix or Hulu subscriptions? There’s a lot of things that get smoothed out when passwords get taken away. Touch ID shouldn’t just be for some iPhone’s, and it’s utility shouldn’t just be at its best in iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay.
Let’s go back to the out-of-the-box experience. Let’s say you get an Apple TV (Why would you, the integrated television set is just around the corner?!?!). What if you could just move your iPhone near it, have NFC pickup the Apple TV, and place your finger on the Touch ID sensor. The whole thing is set up and ready with your iTunes account, and any subscriptions paired with your iTunes account. You’re all set to go.
This obviously addresses completely different problems raised by Dan. It’s not really an either or situation. If someone at Apple wants to do both Siri integration, and Touch ID, then do both.
If not, then just do my thing.
Me. Me. Me.