One of the most well-received features of the upcoming Apple TV set top box, which is set to launch later this month, is universal search, which allows viewers to search for content across a number of different services. At launch, the feature will only work with iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.
However, Apple CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski that developers will have access to a new API that will be able to make their content available as a part of universal search.
… “At launch we’ll have iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO — so we’ll have five major inputs into universal search initially,” Cook said. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”
And Apple’s confident that they will do just that. “I think that many, many people will want to be in that search,” Cook said. “And that’s great for users. Think about your experience today. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have the content you want to watch in an app, you sometimes don’t remember exactly where that show is, so you’re going to Netflix or Hulu or Showtime. You shouldn’t have to do that. It should be very simple.”
Cook also told Paczkowski that universal search will be smart enough to know which services a user has subscribed to, displaying which sources are free, or part of an existing subscription.
… “It will be clear which service is free,” he said. In other words, Apple will show each season or episode in all the services in which it’s available to you and iTunes if they have it. So you would see options for Netflix, iTunes, and HBO, if all three had the content and you were subscribed to Netflix and HBOGo.
The new Apple TV hits shelves laster this month. Apple TV Developer Kits are currently in the hands of a few lucky developers.