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Apple TV Gaining Easy Authentication and Siri Voice Controls

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Apple's set-top box, the Apple TV, is a premium product in a low-price market, but the features announced at today's Worldwide Developers Conference should help it justify that price tag.

Roku owners will be jealous that Apple TV is gaining a single sign-on system for TV Everywhere apps that require authentication. Owners only need to sign in once and the Apple TV will remember their information. They'll be able to enter their credentials directly into the TV interface, rather than getting a registration code they need to use on a computer.

When they sign in with one TVE app, owners will see a list of others supported by their pay TV provider. This will let them download several premium content apps at the same time.

In a blog post, Adobe announced that it's working Apple on the release, and will build Apple authentication APIs into all Adobe Primetime authentication software development kits (SDKs).

Apple TVs will gain improved Siri voice functionality that lets owners use natural language to search for TV shows and movies by topic or theme, search YouTube, access live video streams within apps, and control any HomeKit-enabled devices they have, such as lights and thermostats.

App developers will gain tvOS APIs that let them add the ability to record live broadcasts, access photos from iCloud, control HomeKit devices, show notification badges on apps, and support up to four game controllers. Apple is releasing an updated Apple TV Remote app that includes touch navigation, Siri support, and game play support.

The updated tvOS will be available sometime this fall as a free download.

Sling TV announced that it is now available on the Apple TV.

Apple TV won't be the only device gaining easy authentication. In related news, the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) announced Friday support for single sign-on and home-based authentication programs, created in collaboration with Adobe. CTAM member companies A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Comcast, Cox Communications, Disney/ESPN, Fox Networks Group, Mediacom, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner, and Viacom will support the system, which will be available in the coming year.

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