This month, when your Apple TV updates to tvOS 17.2, the Siri button on your remote will have a slight change in functionality. It will now have two features instead of just calling Siri: you can simply tap it to open a search box, speak your query into it, and receive a page of results that spans the TV app and Apple Music. Press and hold the Siri button to use it.
Although initially uncomfortable, this is a positive development. It only takes a day for you to get used to it.
If you’re using the beta, the update might already be applied to you as it was initially found in tvOS 17.2 beta 4. If not, when tvOS 17.2 is released to everyone (likely in mid-December), it will most likely wind up on your Apple TV box. Similar to every feature in beta versions, there’s a possibility it will be removed prior to launch.
The search function is useful. You can easily find shows from Paramount+, Disney+, or Hulu because any app or service that supports the TV app has its content indexed. (In actuality, Netflix is currently the lone big holdout.) If you only want one or the other, you can use the taps to filter the results. It also displays results from Apple Music.
You’ll need to get used to holding the button down for a brief period of time if you’re just used to tapping the microphone to respond to Siri commands like “What did he say?” or “Go back five minutes.” Similarly, you’ll need to get used to tapping the button instead of holding it down if you’re used to dictating text into a password or search field. Holding it down will now only execute Siri commands.
Overall, this is a positive change. It’s straightforward and reliable: Holding the button always triggers Siri actions, simulating the function of an iPhone’s side button. Swift tapping functions similarly to “typing” and completes dictation fields. If you’re not in a field, it launches a search similar to Spotlight (CMD-Space on a Mac).