Apple TV tips

How to watch March Madness games on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

By

How to watch March Madness on iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
Here's how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
Photo: Amir Fazlic/Unsplash CC

By Chris Brantner, guest blogger

March Madness is upon us. For the next month, college basketball will take over the sports world, and fans can catch all the action on their Apple devices. Whether you’re a cable subscriber or a cord cutter, here’s how to watch March Madness games on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

How to set up single sign-on for Apple TV and iOS devices

By

Apple TV Dark Mode
Apple just added four new TV providers to its single sign-on feature. Here's how to get set up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new single sign-on feature can be a serious timesaver. Just sign in to your cable, satellite or internet TV accounts — like Dish, DirecTV, Sling TV, etc. — via your iPhone or Apple TV. Then you’ll be automatically logged in to any app that’s compatible with your service.

No more fumbling around trying to remember your user name and password when you just want to watch some video!

How to get Apple Maps on your Apple TV (sort of)

By

Plan your next trip from your couch.
Plan your next trip from your couch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Have you ever tried to plan a trip with your posse while gathered around your iPhone? It’s kind of a mess. The tiny screen doesn’t really lend itself to larger viewings. Even an iPad is much smaller than one of those big-old paper maps we used to use to group plan.

If you want to use a big screen to find your way to a road trip this summer, perhaps TV Maps by Arno Appenzeller will do the trick, letting you plan a trip right on your giant screen TV.

This third-party Apple TV app will let you search a destination, get directions, and then send everything to the companion app on your iPhone, which will then launch Apple’s Map app to get you where you need to be.

Here’s how.

Don’t wake the baby! Use Bluetooth headphones with Apple TV

By

Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Use Bluetooth headphones to watch Apple TV quietly.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’re anything like me, you knew that the new 4th-generation Apple TV supported Bluetooth devices like the Siri Remote, game controllers, and even keyboards, but you didn’t twig to the fact that it might also let you use Bluetooth headphones, too.

In point of fact, though, it does support them, letting you watch Netflix or game on your Apple TV without the sound of your activities waking the baby or a sleeping partner. How great is that?

Here’s how to set it up.

Apple TV update brings these awesome new tricks

By

apple tv and siri remote
Grab the latest tvOS 11 update now.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What’s new on your Apple TV? Quite a bit, if you’ve got the latest fourth-generation device and have updated it to tvOS 9.2.

There’s a new folders system for total organization, new support for Bluetooth keyboards, a podcasts app, a multitasking visual upgrade and a new default video-scrubbing behavior.

Check out all of the awesome new tricks you can do with the latest Apple TV update.

Quick tip lets you take control of Apple TV video

By

tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There’s a new Apple TV update in town, and it adds a few obvious features, like Bluetooth keyboard support and Siri Dictation in search and user name/password fields.

tvOS 9.2 also has some less-obvious improvements, though. For instance, it’s easy to locate the exact spot you want to find in any video. Here’s how to scrub through video on Apple TV with your Siri Remote in tvOS 9.2.

How to use a Bluetooth keyboard with Apple TV

By

Apple TV with the wireless keyboard
With tvOS, your newer Apple TV can work with Bluetooth keyboards.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With this week’s release of tvOS 9.2 for Apple TV, the fourth-generation set-top box now works with Bluetooth keyboards. While the splash screen specifically calls out Apple wireless keyboards, the truth is that you might be able pair pretty much any Bluetooth external keyboard with your new Apple TV.

Here’s how. (And here’s how to upgrade to tvOS 9.2 if you haven’t already.)

How to get the most out of Siri on your Apple TV

By

tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Use the power of your voice to watch TV. That’s not something out of Star Trek, but the promise of Siri on the fourth-generation Apple TV.

Beyond basic commands to find your favorite TV shows and movies, you might not know how much Siri can actually do for you. But using Siri Apple TV voice commands will unlock loads of helpful features, including reading onscreen labels, getting more in-depth info about whatever you’re watching, navigating various screens, and even playing music on demand.

And it’s bound to get better yet, as the new tvOS beta is bringing Siri dictation to search fields and the App Store.

Here’s how to get the most out of Siri on your Apple TV.

How to use VLC to watch any video on Apple TV

By

appletv
Apple TV's new app could give us the interface we've dreamed of.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

So you’ve got a fourth-generation Apple TV (the one with Siri Remote and all the apps) and you’ve just downloaded VLC, the “play everything” video app that was just ported to tvOS.

The last few versions of Apple TV haven’t included any storage for video files, and the same is true of the latest model: All the device’s storage is for apps and associated media files. Getting your own videos up on the big screen using VLC takes a little finesse.

Here’s how to watch any video (with a few caveats) on your Apple TV via VLC.

How to restart (or just ‘sleep’) your Apple TV

By

Reboot your Apple TV with style.
Reboot your Apple TV with style.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Is your Apple TV glitching out in some way? While I’ve not personally seen any weirdness with the rock-solid OS that comes with the Apple TV, it’s possible that you might have.

As most of us know, rebooting our Mac or restarting our iOS devices can save us from all sorts of odd behaviors; the same could be said of Apple TV. Here’s how to restart that little black box of joy, plus an easy way to get it into low-power sleep mode.

How to keep kids from checking out bad stuff on Apple TV

By

Keep your kids from watching, buying, or playing anything you don't want them to on Apple TV.
Keep your kids from watching, buying, or playing anything you don't want them to on Apple TV.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Not every Apple TV is in a household full of self-realized adults. Apple knows this and has set up some restrictions, similar to the parental controls on iOS.

That way, you can make sure that your kids aren’t purchasing anything (or playing/watching anything) without your consent.

Here’s how to set it all up on your Apple TV.

Pro tip: Tap, don’t swipe, with your Siri Remote

By

Tapping will help you move up and down, one item at a time.
Tapping will help you move up and down, one item at a time.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve tried to type in any sort of long password or search terms into your new Apple TV using the fancy Siri Remote, you know you’ve had a tough time.

Even if you adjust the tracking to make it a little more accurate, scrolling through letters and clicking on the touch surface can be a nightmare of inaccurate clicks and missed targets.

The fine folks over at The Loop found a different way to navigate single items like this, and it’s totally amazing.

Pro Tip: Get your Apple TV sounding just right

By

Apple TV
Ultra HD is finally coming to Apple TV.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou know that Apple TV is a great set-top box that allows you to play games, watch TV shows and movies, and even listen to Apple Music streams.

What you may not have known is that you can connect Bluetooth speakers so that you don’t bother your roommates or family when you’re watching, enhance dialogue, and even change the audio language on supported media.

Here’s how to do all that, from the comfort of your couch with the new Siri Remote.

How to master the Apple TV remote’s new buttons

By

Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Like all well-designed products from the Apple mothership, the new Apple TV’s remote, also known as the Siri remote, looks simple but contains a surprising amount of depth.

Sure, you might know that one press on the Menu button will take you back one screen, but what about all the other secret moves (like how to restart your Apple TV with the buttons)?

Luckily, we’re here to help you discover all the secrets of the Siri remote. Today, let’s look at the buttons and their hidden features.

5 secret remote tricks to supercharge your Apple TV

By

tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
tvOS changes the default scrubbing behavior of your Siri Remote, and we couldn't be more glad.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Your Apple TV remote is an amazing little device that lets you manage your big TV exerience. There are quite a few little settings you may have missed, though, when you started up your new Apple TV.

You can adjust and tweak your way through the Apple TV settings to make the most of your time with the remote, including monitoring its battery, adjusting accessibility options, and — yes — even figuring out what Siri commands you can use.

Here are five of them, just for you.

5 hidden remote touchpad tricks will make you an Apple TV expert

By

Apple TV remote

The new Apple TV remote is a thing of beauty. It’s got six simple buttons, it’s rechargeable and it features a beautifully simple touchpad at the top to swipe across menus, app icons and letters to enter passwords.

But the simple joy of using the touchpad is very Apple-like. There are hidden secrets to the surface uses, with

Here’s how to get the most out of your Apple TV remote touchpad.

How to use your old TV remote with your new Apple TV

By

The smaller one is way better.
The smaller one is way better.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The new Apple TV remote is a wondrous touch- and motion-enabled trackpad with a few simple buttons that lets you do everything on your new black hockey puck of joy, including playing games, swiping through apps, and, well, playing and pausing your movies and TV shows.

What happens when you lose it somewhere in the depths of your couch, though? The iPhone Remote app no longer works with the new Apple TV, and unless you have an Apple Store nearby, you’re gonna want to have a backup plan in place.

Might as well take a couple of minutes and set up your regular old TV remote to work with Apple TV, right?

Here’s how.

Pro Tip: How to AirPlay videos from your iPhone to your Apple TV

By

Daniel Radcliffe in Horns from iPhone to TV.
Daniel Radcliffe in Horns from iPhone to TV.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugIf you’ve got an Apple TV, you’ve got a ready way to get any videos from your iPhone or iPad onto your big screen.

While we all wait for the latest version of Apple’s famous “hobby,” why not watch a video or two on our current Apple TV, right from our iOS device of choice.

Here’s how to AirPlay videos from your iPhone to your giant TV.

How to enable subtitles on Apple TV

By

Closed captions make it easier to understand what's going on.
Closed captions make it easier to understand what's going on.
Photo: Apple

Closed captioning is useful to those with a hearing impairment to make the audio of videos accessible. Subtitles help those who speak a different language understand what’s going on in a film not in their original language.

You can enable these features on your Apple TV, but it’s not super-intuitive — there’s no single button to make it happen.

However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t easy. Here’s how to turn on Apple TV subtitles, even if you just want to watch a scary movie at night and have the sound turned down.