Apple TV has undergone plenty of revisions since its release in 2007. The never-ending improvements have led to today, where it can hold its head high among other streaming devices like Google, Amazon and Roku.
Competition aside, Apple has made impressive strides with its latest 4K and HD models. You can enjoy TV shows, movies, live sports, games and apps. And now, with Apple TV+, there’s even more to love. Tap or click to check out some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Apple TV+.
So what could possibly improve the Apple TV user experience? How about a few lesser-known tips and tricks? Take your binge sessions up a notch or two with these helpful tips, starting with checking the batteries — yes, you read that correctly. Even battery tricks can make a huge difference.
1. To charge, or not to charge
Besides the obvious sign of not working, typical remotes require you to guesstimate whether its batteries are dead or running out. But Apple’s got you covered.
You can check your Apple TV’s remote battery level, making the guessing game a thing of the past. To view how much charge is left, go to Settings and choose Remote and Devices. You can click Remote to display the percentage of remaining juice.
2. Home sweet home
If you have HomeKit-enabled devices, Apple TV (3rd and 4th gen) can function as your smart hub.
Note: the same iCloud account is required for Apple TV and all iOS devices connected to HomeKit. While this should occur automatically, you can complete this task via your Apple TV. Go to Settings and click on Accounts. Tap iCloud. Search for HomeKit and ensure it is connected.
In addition, to help safeguard your devices, you will need to set up two-factor authentication and iCloud Keychain.
To set up two-factor authentication, open Settings and select iCloud. Tap Passwords and Security, then choose Set Up Two-Factor Authentication. Follow the on-screen steps and when you receive the verification code, enter it into the appropriate field.
For iCloud Keychain, go into Settings, tap iCloud and choose Keychain.
3. Hey, Siri
Apple TV HD and 4K both come with a Siri remote, allowing you to operate the device with your voice.
To use this feature, simply press the Siri button to search apps based on title, genre and more. The smart assistant can also provide recommendations with a quick press and release of the Siri button. Tap or click to reveal hidden Siri tips to do even more with your iPhone or iPad.
4. Switch it up
Similar to other iOS devices, Apple TV now has an app switcher, which allows you to switch between and force close apps.
To activate it, double-click on the Home button on your Apple TV remote. Once launched, use the trackpad to swipe between apps. To force close an app, center application selector on the app and swipe up.
5. Clean up
With a world of apps available, it’s easy to clutter up your Apple TV home screen. No problem, you can move or hide apps and even organize them into folders. To move an app, click and hold its icon until it jiggles. Press the Play/Pause button to hide selected apps.
Want to place an app into a folder? Select the app and press down until it jiggles. Drag and drop it on top of another app you want in the same folder.
To create a folder, highlight an app and hold it down. Press the Play/Pause button and select an option. And if you want to rename a folder, tap on it and type the new name.
6. Swipe and scrub
Have you ever scrubbed video? If not, here’s your chance. Scrubbing a video is a quick way to skip forward or backward.
With Apple TV, you simply click on the left or right side of the trackpad to skip 10 seconds forward or backward. Hit Pause before you scrub faster by swiping either direction on the trackpad. You can also ask Siri to jump back or skip ahead a specific amount of time.
7. Take control
In addition to parental restrictions, Apple TV allows you to block or limit others from making purchases or accessing graphic content.
You can filter programming based on age, language or ratings. Newer Apple TV models further provide the option to disable screen recording, multi-player gaming and more.
8. What did they say?
When you’re watching a show or movie, it can be annoying when the action is super loud and the dialogue is anything but. If you can’t hear what people are saying, or if they have a thick accent and you’re having trouble understanding, Apple TV can help.
Simply press down on the Siri button and ask, “What did (s)he say?” The video will rewind and enable closed captioning so you can read and hear what you missed the first time.
9. Share and share alike
Sharing purchased movies, TV shows and apps with family is made simple with the Family Sharing feature.
To access shared content, open Movies, TV Shows or the App Store and choose Purchased. Select Family Sharing and choose a family member to view their content.
10. No need to be so loud
To keep you from disturbing others with a loud television, Apple TV offers a few options. You can pair a set of headphones or reduce loud sounds. If you don’t mind subtitles, you can also change the settings and mute the TV altogether.
If you want to pair a set of headphones, put your device in pairing mode and on your Apple TV, go to Settings, then choose Remotes and Devices and click Bluetooth. The TV will search for your headset and once it detects it, simply choose it on the TV and, if asked, enter the PIN.
To soften sound effects and music, open Settings and select Video and Audio then tap Reduce Loud Sounds.
For subtitles, go to Settings and open General, then tap Accessibility and choose Subtitles and Captioning. After you turn the feature on, in this same menu, choose Style to customize the font, size and color, background color and opacity, text opacity, edge style and highlight.
11. One and done
Thanks to the Apple TV’s single sign-on feature, you no longer need to bother with logging into individual streaming apps. Provided you sign in to a supported TV provider via your Apple TV settings, you will automatically be logged into any streaming apps like ESPN and FXNow that support single sign-on.
To sign in on your Apple TV, go to Settings and open Users and Accounts. Select TV Provider and choose Sign in. Find your provider and select it, then choose the email you use for your provider’s account. If it’s not listed, choose New and enter the information.
12. Cancel, please
Who hasn’t lost track of a subscription or two (or more)? With Apple TV, you can check and cancel any subscriptions you signed up for through Apple.
Simply open Settings and select Accounts. Tap Manage Subscriptions and select the subscription(s) you wish to stop, then click Cancel. Tap or click to discover seven apps and subscriptions you’ll want to use this year.
Although Apple TV faces some serious competition, the streaming device offers a host of features worth checking out. So the next time you’re watching something on your Apple TV, try these tricks and tips to get the most from your set.