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Apple TV Adds Apps, TV Everywhere Single Sign-On

At its June 13 developers’ conference, Apple announced a series of updates for its Apple TV set-top, including the addition of Sling TV and Fox Sports Go apps, upgraded Siri voice search capabilities and an upgraded iPhone remote app.

Apple also announced it would offer a new single sign-on feature for TV Everywhere apps, allowing users to authenticate once for several pay TV subscription services available on their Apple TV.

“The future of TV is apps, and Siri on Apple TV has changed the way we interact with our television and these expanded features will continue to deliver viewers what they want to watch even faster,” said Eddy Cue, SVP of internet software and services for Apple. “There are over 6,000 apps to enjoy on your Apple TV including over 1,300 video channels, which are even more fun to watch with the new Siri features combined with single sign-on.”

The upgraded voice search features include topic search for movies, YouTube search, search for a live channel within a supported app, and the ability for Apple TV owners to control HomeKit-enabled accessories, including lights and thermostats. The upgraded iPhone app, meanwhile, adds touch navigation, Siri voice controls and game support.

Meanwhile, Apple TV’s new single sign-on feature allows users to sign on once for TV Everywhere authentication, with the Apple TV automatically logging the user into other supported apps that require authentication.

Along with the addition of Sling TV and Fox Sports Go, new Apple TV apps include Airbnb. SketchParty TV, Gilt and Kitchen Stories Cookbook. “tvOS on Apple TV takes the Sling TV app to new heights, creating a seamless combination of technology and entertainment,” Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, said in a statement.

In other news, Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds, a new app for iPad that looks to simplify the learning process behind coding for students. The app includes Apple-developed programming lessons that teach students how to write code by solving puzzles and tackling other challenges.

“I wish Swift Playgrounds was around when I was first learning to code,” said Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, in a statement. “Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real code. It’s an innovative way to bring real coding concepts to life and empower the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity.”