Another day, another Apple TV rumor. This time, we’re hearing the new set-top box from Apple will have universal search, which allows you to scour all of your streaming services for the same title.
Sources familiar with Apple’s plans say that a cornerstone of the the company’s new set-top box is a universal search feature that will enable searches across multiple streaming video services as well as Apple’s iTunes Store. Instead of searching the catalogs of multiple video services one-at-a-time for a particular movie, you’ll now be able to search all — or most of them — at once and then choose the service on which you’d like to watch it. You’ll also be able to search for actors and directors, and run other more targeted searches as well — all with Siri.
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Backing Siri up is reportedly Matcha, a “video discovery start-up” Apple acquired in 2013.
This is truly some next-level stuff from Apple, if true. I don’t know about you, but when I consider a streaming device, I just want to know it will work with the services I like. I’ve never really considered that it would be nice to search once and find the movie across services via a single device — because it’s never been approached by anyone else.
With one simple search, you may know if Netflix has that movie or show for free, or if you need to buy it from Amazon. Not a Hulu subscriber? Universal search may show you that it has a lot of what you want to watch, so maybe you should give it a shot.
There are a lot of moving parts to this (I’m sure partners need to work an API call into their services, at least), but universal search would be the killer feature we didn’t even know we wanted from Apple TV.