Apple TV universal search expands to FOX NOW, FXNOW and Nat Geo TV

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2016

According to an Apple support document which was updated yesterday, the universal search feature on the fourth-generation Apple TV will now surface video content provided by FOX NOW, FXNOW and Nat Geo TV channels.

Users who install these apps on their set-top box can press the Siri Remote’s microphone button and say things such as “Watch Life Below Zero” and land on the page that now includes that show by the National Geographic channel, in addition to other content sources. Read More

 

Apple vying for streaming rights of Thursday night NFL games

By Cody Lee on Feb 4, 2016

Apple is among a group of tech giants vying for the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games, reports Variety. The NFL said on Monday it has reached a two-year agreement with CBS and NBC for broadcast rights, and it’s been in active discussions with potential partners for digital rights.

According to Variety’s sources, Apple is among those potential partners, as are Amazon, Google and Verizon Communications. The League is said to be considering a variety of scenarios, including potentially selling the rights to more than one distributor, and mixing in games played overseas. Read More

 

Multiple iCloud services experiencing downtime, App Store/iTunes purchases affected

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2016

Apple on Thursday morning reported a number of issues with various iCloud services. According to the iCloud Status webpage, these problems are preventing many users around the world from making purchases in Apple’s app and content stores.

In addition, “new and recently changed content may not have updated across devices for iCloud Drive, Backup, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud and Photos,” reads a notice on the webpage.

UPDATE: As of 9:10am PT, all of the affected iCloud services had been restored. Read More

 

How to watch Super Bowl 50 on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and other devices

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2016

On Sunday evening, millions of people will gather around their TV sets to watch Super Bowl 50. The game features the Denver Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers, and kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 (ET).

For those of you who aren’t going to be around a television Sunday night, but still want to follow along with the action, we’ve put together a list of ways you’ll be able to do so using an iPhone, iPad, Mac and other devices. Read More

 

Review: Channels – watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun [video]

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 1, 2016

If you want to watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun, you can go the free route by using Kodi, but Channels is by far the best live TV watching experience to be had on Apple TV. Not only does Fancy Bits’ Channels app allow you to watch live TV, but you can also pause and rewind local or cable TV directly from your Apple TV when paired together with an HDHomeRun.

If you’re unsure what an HDHomeRun is, or how it can help you, then be sure to check out our post on the device. In a nutshell, the HDHomeRun allows you to stream free (or paid) television over your home network. The Channels app can then acquire the stream made available by the HDHomeRun, and display it on your television.

At $14.99 for a limited time (normally $24.99), Channels isn’t cheap, but it’s a great-looking and overall solid experience for cord cutters. Have a look at our full video walkthrough for more details. Read More

 

Developer demonstrates Picture in Picture mode on Apple TV

By Anthony Bouchard on Jan 31, 2016

One of the major new features Apple introduced in iOS 9 was the ability to take advantage of Picture in Picture mode on supported iPad models; a multitasking mode perfect for watching videos while tackling other tasks at the same time, such as web browsing, document writing, social networking, and more.

Oddly enough, the Apple TV, which is essentially a media entertainment system in itself, doesn’t come with a similar feature for users wanting to multitask more efficiently on their television sets.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has demonstrated Picture in Picture multitasking on the Apple TV 4 via a custom app he made for himself, showing that the hardware inside of the Apple TV on the latest firmware is capable of handing the feature, but it appears Apple has chosen not to include it (yet). Read More

 

Apple said to consider developing original TV shows as talks over skinny iTunes bundle collapse

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2016

As part of a new strategy following failed talks with major networks regarding licensing their programming for a rumored over-the-top iTunes video service, Apple is reportedly considering developing own TV shows to offer exclusively to its iTunes customers, The Street reported Friday. The publication’s track record in predicting Apple’s moves isn’t great so take the story with a pinch of salt.

Citing two unnamed people with knowledge of the overtures, the report alleges that Apple is internally planning to announce exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September, as part of the iPhone 7 introduction. Read More

 

How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without a Mac, PC, or USB-C cable

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 27, 2016

Yesterday, we showed you how to update to the tvOS beta using Apple Configurator 2. The nice thing about this method is that it allows you to keep your apps, settings and data.

The downside of this method is that it still requires a computer and USB-C cable, since it needs Apple Configurator 2 to complete the process. Fortunately, there is a way to install the tvOS beta on your Apple TV without using a computer. In this step-by-step video tutorial, I’ll show you how. Read More

 

How to filter mature language for Siri and Dictation

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2016

Sometimes when you use the dictation feature on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad—or just converse with Siri and it misunderstands you—you might be in for a surprise seeing explicit language that you don’t really want others to see, especially if you talk to Siri on your new Apple TV and kids are present.

Fortunately, both iOS and tvOS give you all the controls you need to prevent profanities from showing up when you use speech-to-text or Siri. In this post, you’ll learn how to disable explicit language for Siri and Dictation on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and filter out explicit language for Siri on your Apple TV. Read More

 

How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without losing apps, settings, or data

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 26, 2016

If you’re a developer, there are two ways to update to the latest tvOS beta on the Apple TV. Both methods require a USB-C cable, so be sure to have one of those at your disposal.

The first method, and perhaps the way the general public is more familiar with, requires downloading the full tvOS beta software and restoring using iTunes. This method works, but it also means that everything that’s on the Apple TV, from settings to apps, will be wiped. You’re essentially setting the Apple TV back to factory defaults when using iTunes to update to the tvOS beta.

The more sensible approach is to use Apple Configurator 2, a Mac App Store app that can be used together with Configuration Profiles, to update to the latest tvOS beta.

The advantage of using the Configuration Profiles method is that all of your data, apps, and settings stay put. That way, you can enjoy all of the latest features of the tvOS beta, without having to go through the tedious initial setup process. Read More

 

Tip: parents, disable explicit music and podcasts on your Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2016

Among other enhancements, yesterday’s tvOS 9.1.1 software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV has brought out podcasts to your living room experience via Apple’s Podcasts app.

If you have kids and everyone in your household is using the same Apple TV, it might be a good idea to prevent explicit content in Apple Music and Podcasts.

In this quick tutorial, we’re going to show you how to disable mature language for music and podcasts on the Apple TV by flipping a switch in Settings. Read More

 

tvOS 9.2 beta 2 brings iCloud Photo Library, Live Photos and Conference Room Display Mode

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2016

A new tvOS 9.2 beta has landed in the hands of Apple TV developers today. This update comes at the same time as new iOS, watch OS, and OS X betas are released.

tvOS 9.2 beta 2 is a follow up release to tvOS 9.2 beta 1. That update brought a new Podcasts app, redesigned App Switcher, Bluetooth keyboard support, and folders to the Apple TV interface. This latest update brings iCloud Photo Library support, Live Photos support, and more… Read More

 

Apple releases tvOS 9.1.1 software update for Apple TV 4 with new Podcasts app

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 25, 2016

Today, Apple released tvOS 9.1.1, a brand new software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV which brings the Podcasts app to the set-top box along with a fix for unexpected password prompts when downloading apps when restrictions are set and unspecified security improvements.

If it’s not showing up on your Apple TV 4 yet, wait a few minutes and try again because software updates take some time to propagate. Read More

 

Remote Buddy review: control your Mac from Apple TV via Siri Remote

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2016

Don’t you wish there was a hassle-free way to bring your Mac apps, documents, media, games and more to the big screen—and control them? Enter Remote Buddy, a sweet little app by Roth, Germany based developer Felix Schwarz.

This high-performance screen sharing software—along with its tvOS, watchOS and iOS apps—streams your Mac’s screen to the new Apple TV and turns the Siri Remote into a trackpad, a full virtual keyboard and an advanced remote so you can control Mac apps with gestures and shortcuts, without getting off that couch of yours.

Building on the latest GPU and CPU technologies, Remote Buddy uses a proprietary engine to deliver up to 60 frames per second with a latency of around 0.1 seconds so you really get a smooth, high-speed screen sharing experience.

Having taken Remote Buddy for a quick spin, I’m happy to report that it works incredibly well and really comes in handy when you want to do simple tasks on your desktop-bound Mac without actually sitting in front of your computer. Read More

 

Apple posts new Apple TV ad ‘The Future of TV is Apps’

By Cody Lee on Jan 21, 2016

Apple on Thursday shared a new video advertisement for the Apple TV on its YouTube page. Aptly named “The Future of TV is Apps,” the spot highlights a number of popular games and applications that are available through the tvOS App Store.

Titles mentioned include WatchESPN, Asphalt 8, and HBO Now, and instead of showing them in action in a normal Apple TV interface, the ad illustrates them using 3D animations. It’s a bit hard to explain, so you should probably just watch it. Read More

 

Key Apple TV designer planning to leave the company soon

By Cody Lee on Jan 19, 2016

Key Apple TV designer Ben Keighran is leaving the company, reports Recode. The outlet spoke to Keighran, who says he’s making his exit soon, and he’d eventually like to start something new. “I want to create not just a killer product, but my own iconic company.”

Mr. Keighran came to Apple in 2012 as part of its Chomp acquisition—a search startup he cofounded. During his three years in Cupertino, he helped oversee the look and feel of the software on the fourth generation Apple TV, which was just released in November. Read More

 

Apple ‘frustrated’ by streaming TV challenges, says ESPN President

By Cody Lee on Jan 19, 2016

Apple is frustrated with the many challenges it has faced in trying to build its streaming TV service, reports The Wall Street Journal. The outlet recently sat down with ESPN president John Skipper, who said the iPhone-maker is finding it tough to create something that works for both them and programmers.

“They are creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience and that television experience is fabulous for sports,” Mr. Skipper told the Journal. “We are big proponents of believing it would be a fabulous place to sell some subscriptions. We have ongoing conversations.” Read More

 

How to put the Apple TV into retail Demo Mode

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 18, 2016

A few days ago, we showed you how to access the Apple TV’s “Advanced Settings” mode. That particular option is geared towards Apple employees. Today, we’re going to show you how to place the Apple TV into Demo Mode.

Demo Mode, according to Apple, is a special setting that locks down many Apple TV settings to keep Apple TV “fresh” for each customer interaction. Each time the Apple TV comes out of the screensaver, the Home screen layout will reset to present the default interface.

In a nutshell, Demo Mode is what you see when looking at an Apple TV while in an Apple Store or other big box retail store. Have a look at the rest of this post to see how to enter Demo Mode on your own Apple TV.
Read More

 

List of Apple TV content providers

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2016

It’s annoying when you download an Apple TV app for your favorite entertainment provider only to realize that you cannot access the service due to regional restrictions, the need to connect with your cable service or pay for the service.

Of all the third-party content provider apps available for download in the tvOS App Store, only a handful of services are available on a worldwide basis.

To save you some time, Apple has put together a handy support document which lists all the content providers available on the second, third and fourth-generation Apple TV. Read More

 

How to access tvOS’ hidden ‘Advanced Settings’ menu on Apple TV

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 16, 2016

The Apple TV features a hidden “Advanced Settings” menu, which contains some interesting Apple employee-centric features. Accessing the hidden settings menu is remarkably easy to do, all you need is a paired Siri remote to get going.

Inside the hidden Advanced Settings menu, you’ll find an AppleConnect login option, a menu pertaining to loading a VPN Profile, Sleep Delay settings, and more. It’s generally not something that most customers will even care about, and we can’t recommend dilly-dallying around and changing values, but it’s interesting to know it’s there. Read More

 
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