The Amazon Fire TV was announced and released earlier this month. It can stream audio and video from services such as Netflix and Pandora the same way other gadgets in this market do. But unlike many of its rivals, the Fire TV also comes with voice search and the ability to play video games.
Fire TV users can hold a button on their remote control and search for content by saying the name of a movie, TV show or artist. The device then displays results for the users' oral query. The Amazon streaming box also allows users to play video games that can be downloaded from the company's app store.
Reports this year have said Apple is also considering bringing many of these features to its device, which also costs $99. That may mean that Apple knows it needs to beef up its gadget with more features if it hopes to remain competitive against the Amazon Fire TV.
In January, reports said Apple was considering beefing up the Apple TV with a faster processor and an app store so that it could be used to play video games.
And on Wednesday, 9to5Mac said Apple will also likely bring voice search to the next version of its gadget, based on new code found in Apple software that is used by third-party developers to create apps for the iPhone and iPad.
The code indicates the Siri voice assistant is being added to a new gadget that is simply referred to as "3." But as 9to5Mac explains, "3" in that software usually represents the company's Apple TV devices. 9to5Mac has a great track record reporting upcoming Apple features and products before they are announced.
Apple could not be reached for comment, but it certainly appears that the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant's next video-streaming device will include many of the same features introduced by the Amazon Fire TV.