Accessibility with Voice/Siri on Apple TV


I have a user in my family that can't use hands. To watch TV, we currently have a Harmony Hub voice connection with Google Home.

Google is making some changes to harmony hub that really makes me question why I just don't switch the user to HomeKit and Apple TV. We've just had fewer syncing issues.

The issue remains that it would be nice if there was a way to have it so Channels could understand, "Hey Siri, go to channel 1234". Right now, as far as I know, to do that in Channels you have to make a shortcut. Also, the shortcuts aren't smart enough to have "1234" be some kind of parameter. Each individual channel would have to be programmed. So it's a little difficult. (Do-able, but difficult).

Has there been any progress on voice-related UI? Basically, I want the user to be able to do everything--increase volume, change channel, turn TV on/off, etc. with just voice. Id prefer to not have to create shortcuts for each individual action.

Any ideas?

There is a "Dictate Text" Shortcuts action that'll capture whatever you say. So you could perhaps make a 2 step process with "Hey, Siri, go to channel", it'd beep and you'd say "1234". Then you could use the Channels API to play that channel. Here's a quick example that worked for me (assuming Channels is already running on that device — which you can do via Shortcuts too):

If you wanted it in one piece, I believe it is possible for app developers to build voice shortcuts of the type you describe.

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Oh now that's interesting. I can experiment.

Do you know if it would work if you have multiple Apple TVs? Would it change the channel on both?

The "living-room.local" part in my example refers to the address of my living room Apple TV. If I had 2 Apple TVs (I don't) I could choose to control them separately…