Thanks To Bluetooth, Setting Up Your Apple TV Is Now Just An iPhone Tap Away

Installing XBMC on a jailbroken Apple TV unlocks the ability to play unsupported video formats, install third-party plugins, and more.

It just got a lot easier to set up your Apple TV. Apple has detailed a new way to input login and WiFi network information when setting up a third-gen Apple TV with an iOS device. All you have to do is physically tap an iPhone against the Apple TV to instantly transfer settings over Bluetooth LE (low energy). The Apple TV needs to be on the latest 6.0 update, and the other device needs to be running iOS 7.

During beta testing of the Apple TV 6.0 release, Apple added the ability to do setup from an iOS device, but you couldn’t just tap two devices together. As of today, Apple’s support guide details how to do setup with a quick tap.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.35.01 PM

Upon touching the iOS device to a stock Apple TV, you will be prompted to enter your Apple ID credentials on the iOS device and choose whether you want the Apple TV to remember your password. The Apple TV will then configure itself automatically and add your login information, including WiFi password.

Tapping two devices to trigger a setup process may seem trivial, but the feature highlights what Apple is able to do with advancements in Bluetooth LE. After WWDC, one of the lesser-publicized features to debut in iOS 7 was iBeacon, Apple’s new protocol that effectively turns any iOS 7 device into a beacon. A Bluetooth LE field is created around the device that can be automatically triggered by other beacons in close proximity. There are all kinds of possibilities the technology provides, including mobile payments. If you’re curious, iBeacon is explained well in this post on Medium.

  • Paul Burt

    This is why Apple will never include NFC. They already have the same functionality.

  • Adrayven

    Ok, gotta say it.. They just ‘bumped’.. bahahaha! and they mock Samsung for bumping and sharing! ;-D

    This has sooo got to be fake. Pinch me.. is it April fools? I mean, really, how does it know you bumped it?

  • reneMAC

    @Adrayven It is not fake. iBeacons, look it up. It works. And technically, you really dont have to bump them to have it work, it works via proximity. You can simply lay your iPhone for instance, on top of the aTV and it will work, no movement necessary.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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