As TV apps continue to evolve, functions that used to require cumbersome use of the remote become much easier. The newly updated DirecTV iPhone app goes one step farther by adding a new feature that simply wasn’t possible before: voice search.
The DirecTV app was already quite powerful even before voice search was added into the mix. It gives DirecTV subscribers the ability to control their DVR, as well as watch and control live and on-demand offerings, straight from the app, making it a valuable supplement or even replacement for a traditional remote control. Plus, subscribers can watch many channels straight from their iPhone. If you have yet to subscribe to DirecTV service check out www.SaveOnTVDirect.com for special offers.
Voice search is the next level. The update adds a dedicated Voice tab to the app, and a great deal of functionality along with it. From this tab, viewers can simply tap the screen once and then say what they want to watch. The app will then search for results and display them either on the app screen or on the TV, depending on viewers’ preference.
But Voice Search isn’t just for show titles. It’s impressively sophisticated, and it can recognize and parse a large number of criteria. If you want to watch a particular channel, the DirecTV Voice Search can handle that. If you’re looking for a certain genre, a certain actor, or only shows from a particular time period, that’s fine too. The DirecTV app can handle all of them.
DirecTV Voice Search also controls your DirecTV DVR. Just tell the app to record your favorite show, or put on something you’ve already recorded, and it will. Voice Search is designed to understand and parse natural language, so you don’t have to phrase things in a way that computers will understand. Just speak naturally and Voice Search will do the rest and present your results on screen.
The DirecTV Voice Search is already live for iPhone (iOS 5.0+), with the iPad update on its way soon. The Android update will hit later this summer. Recording and watching content, unsurprisingly, requires a DirecTV subscription. You’ll also need DirecTV HD DVR and an Internet connection, broadband for streaming.
Beyond the app, DirecTV has been very supportive of the wireless and streaming revolution of the last few years. DirecTV CEO Mike White has spoken repeatedly about the increasing significance of mobile video and offering content on any device, anywhere. Even though a big HD TV is still a cornerstone of the entertainment ecosystem, people aren’t tethered to it the way they used to be, and neither is DirecTV.
That’s why the company has worked so hard on building out options for wireless and off-television access, and it’s why the DirecTV app lets users watch much of its content anywhere. And it’s why DirecTV works so well with major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu. DirecTV supports and integrates these services particularly well, in large part because the company has no interest in creating a dedicated streaming service of its own. That leads to more cooperation, and it helps TV apps and services continue to evolve.