Dish’s Sling TV is finally expanding to Apple TV: The online TV subscription service launched on the latest Apple TV hardware on Monday, and was featured during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote address.
Another major update to Apple TV will make it easier to use authenticated “TV Everywhere” services like HBO Go, Watch ABC and Showtime Anytime. Users will be able to sign into their pay-TV provider account once, and all available TV Everywhere apps will automatically sign in as well, doing away with the need to sign into every single app separately. The functionality was previewed with Dish, but there’s no word yet on which other pay-TV operators Apple is cooperating with on this single sign-on functionality.
In addition to Sling TV and enhanced support for TV Everywhere, Apple will also bring Fox Sports Go to Apple TV later this summer. Altogether, more that 6,000 apps are now available on the new Apple TV hardware, announced Apple SVP Eddy Cue on stage Monday.
The company also revamped its Siri digital assistant, which is now able to search for 650,000 movies and TV shows. Users will soon be able to search for movie categories, as well as clips available on YouTube. Siri will also be able to tune into live streaming channels, and for example fire up a live stream from ESPN2 with a simple “Watch ESPN2” voice command.
Apple is also updating its Apple TV remote control app for iPhones, and introducing a new dark mode, which makes the Apple TV home screen less bright during nighttime binge watching sessions. Apple will ship the latest changes to tvOS later this year, and made it available to developers Monday.
Apple first introduced the new Apple TV last September. The company hasn’t released any sales data for the device, but recent data from IHS suggests that the high price of the device may have cost Apple the lead in the streaming device war: Google’s Chromecast outsold Apple TV in Q1, with Google selling 3.2 million devices while Apple only sold 1.7 million devices.