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How to use Dictation on Apple TV

Siri Remote on Apple TV
Siri Remote on Apple TV

With tvOS 9.2, Apple has implemented a new feature called "Dictation." Users can enter text into search engines, login forms, and more, by using their voice with the Siri Remote. Not every text form supports the feature right now, but many of them do. It makes makes searching for content and entering passwords much quicker. It's fairly easy to set up and even easier to use. Here's how.

How to set up Dictation on Apple TV

Once you have enabled Dictation on Apple TV, you will be able to use it in any text form that supports it. You will know when a text form supports the feature when you see "Hold [Siri button] to dictate."

  1. Turn on Apple TV.
  2. Navigate to the text form you wish to use (e.g., the search bar in Netflix).

  1. Hold down the Siri button on your Siri Remote, which is the middle button on the left side of the face of the remote. It has a microphone icon on it.

Siri Remote on Apple TV
  1. The Dictation enable window will appear the first time you use the feature. Select Use Dictation.
  2. Hold down the Siri button on your Siri Remote again.
  3. Say the word or phrase you wish to enter into the text form.

Once enabled, you won't have to turn Dictation on again.

How to enter login info using Dictation on Apple TV

Logging in to a service, or entering your password in Apple TV using Dictation is slightly different than simply speaking a word or phrase.

  1. Turn on Apple TV.
  2. Navigate to the login form you wish to use (e.g., signing in to Netflix).

  1. Hold down the Siri button on your Siri Remote, which is the middle button on the left side of the face of the remote. It has a microphone icon on it.

Siri Remote

Siri Remote on Apple TV
  1. Verbally spell out the email address, account name, or password you wish to enter.
  2. Select Done.

Using Dictation to spell passwords in Apple TV

You will know when you must spell out an entry when you see "Hold [Siri button] to spell."

How to turn off Dictation on Apple TV

If you decide you don't want to use the Dictation feature, you can turn it off in the Settings app.

  1. Turn on Apple TV.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Select General.

Opening the Settings app in Apple TV

  1. Scroll down and select Dictation.
  2. Toggle Dictation off.

Toggle Apple TV off

You can also turn Dictation back on again by following the steps above and toggling the feature on.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

4 Comments
  • Have to admit I was pretty disappointed trying it out, but its more an issue with siris voice recognition as a whole. My issue is that using dictation to search media apps that apple hasnt blessed when I search for any title not in my system language it totally fails to translate my words to anything close but rather some gibberish english (my system language) phrase. Rather a problem looking for foreign media etc.
  • Not working well with my South African voice. I tried to enter my iCloud password for iCloud Photo Library multiple times before giving up. Not unexpected because I am using a US account, Siri on Apple TV is not available here yet.
  • Not working at all in Sweden. The sound waves seem to register after which a spinner is shown which results in nothing at all. Spinner just disappears after a while. No results or changes to the screen. Sent from the iMore App
  • Does not work. I try to spell the word blue but it keeps entering "blub" no matter how clearly I enunciate. I do not have a foreign accent or an unusual voice. Pretty shoddy work on Apple's part.