This past week saw Apple’s updated Apple TV go on sale in countries around the world, but those who don’t happen to live in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain or Japan may have noticed that their own Apple TV isn’t quite as clever as those who do live in one of those eight countries. When it comes to Siri, those countries mentioned sell Apple TVs that can do some pretty impressive Siri voice search of TV shows and movies whereas those outside of the blessed eight can’t. The reason, as it turns out, is rather interesting.
In an interview with Apple, MacPrime has learned that Apple has actually tuned Siri on Apple TVs to be better at understanding what users are searching for based on their pronunciation. Apple discovered that the names of actors and directors are pronounced very differently depending on the country that the searcher comes from, meaning Siri could potentially have a hard time understanding what people are searching for. In order to combat that, Apple has had to add bespoke data to Siri’s database depending on the country in which it is being used.
The upshot of all this is that Siri on an Apple TV is actually better at understanding the things we are likely to search for when sat in front of the TV than an iPhone might be. Apple hasn’t pushed to improve Siri’s understanding of such things on its mobile products because it isn’t deemed to be a primary use case. That situation is obviously reversed for Apple TV.
Those outside of the current eight countries that support Siri on Apple TV may have to wait a little for it to arrive on their shores too, with Apple saying that it won’t flip the switch to enable Siri in new territories until it has gone through region-specific training in order to ensure the best results. Great for those who can take advantage of it, but for those in countries where the new Apple TV doesn’t yet support Siri, the wait could be an irritating one.
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