All-New Apple TV Running iOS 9 Will Receive Dedicated App Store, Siri And Touch Remote

Who knows when or even if Apple will ever launch its long-planned streaming TV service (the latest buzz is that those plans have been pushed to 2016 due to stalls in negotiations with media companies). In the meantime, the company stays relevant in the streaming space with its Apple TV set-top box, and word on the web is that the next version will sport several upgrades.

New hardware is a given. The chassis is likely to look similar to previous versions, though reportedly it will be thinner and a tad wider. Of more interest is the new dedicated remote control that will ship with Apple TV boxes. This larger remote will feature more tactile keys along with touch-based input and support for gestures. Cross your fingers that Force Touch makes it way to the remote as well.

Apple TV

Interestingly, sources tell 9to5Mac that the next Apple TV box will be the first to use a full-blown iOS core. It will consist of a version of iOS 9 that's been optimized for TV viewing with Proactive search, the latter of which is one of the main reasons why Apple TV's software will be based on iOS 9.

Proactive search will allow users to search across the entire system, a feature that's not possible with the current generation Apple TV. If you perform a search for Will Ferrell, the next generation Apple TV model will look for entries in iTunes, Netflix, and everywhere else it has access to.

Of course, Siri will likely make an appearance, too. Having Siri on board will take the frustration out of having to type characters using the remote control.

The streaming space is pretty crowded and one way Apple will look to further differentiate itself from the competition is through a dedicated app store. Apple will offer a full software development kit (SDK) to encourage developers to build apps specific to Apple TV, just as they can do with Apple's other products. And while Apple is reportedly focusing on video content, it will be interesting to see what developers come up with.