tvOS Web Browser Apple TV

Sideloading the tvOSBrowser that we reported on earlier is easy, it just takes a bit of massaging to make it all work. You’ll need to be familiar with our standard sideloading tutorial for sideloading apps, but there’s one additional step that you’ll have to take before it all comes together. In this tutorial, we’ll show you all that’s involved in a hands-on step-by-step video.

Step 1: Use our sideloading tutorial to sideload the tvOSBrowser on your Apple TV

The build will fail, and you will encounter an error that states: ‘UIWebView’ is unavailable: not available on tvOS

Step 2: Open the Applications folder

Step 3: Right click on Xcode.app and select Show Package Contents

Step 4: Open Developer →  Platforms → AppleTVOS.platform → Developer → SDKs → AppleTVOS.sdk → usr → include

Step 5: Double click Availability.h to open in Xcode

Step 6: Find the following lines:
#define __TVOS_UNAVAILABLE __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)
#define __TVOS_PROHIBITED __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

Replace those lines with:

#define __TVOS_UNAVAILABLE_NOTQUITE __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)
#define __TVOS_PROHIBITED_NOTQUITE __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

Step 7: Save your changes to Availability.h

Step 8: Try to rebuild the tvOSBrowser using the Play button in Xcode, and it should build successfully

Step 9: Find the tvOSBrowser app icon on your Apple TV and start browsing the web on your TV

It’s really a simple thing to do, and takes about 5 minutes, if that, from beginning to end. If you want a browser on your Apple TV, this is one way to do so.

This browser is very basic, but the original developer, Steve Troughton-Smith, is hoping that others take the foundation that he has laid and build on it.

As of now, here’s what you can do with the browser:

  • Tap on the center of the touch area of the Apple TV Remote to switch between cursor & scroll mode.
  • Click the touch area to click.
  • Menu will navigate back.
  • The Play/Pause button will let you input URLs (no fuzzy matching or auto-search).

Have you tried the tvOSBrowser on your Apple TV? If so, what did you think about it?