Apple TV tips

How to access changelog for Apple TV app updates

Whilst browsing the App Store in desktop iTunes or via your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, you now get a notation for iOS apps that are also available on the fourth-generation Apple TV, but that's about it.

The iOS App Store, for example, doesn't permit you to view screenshots of Apple TV apps nor does it provide version history or changelogs.

If you're like me, you want to learn about any changes as your favorite Apple TV apps get updated so you don't miss out on cool new features.

In this quick tutorial, you'll learn how to browse recently updated apps on the Apple TV 4 and access official changelogs from developers which typically provide a treasure trove of information detailing new features, refinements, fixes and other items of interest.

How to set up Apple TV screensaver with photos from your computer

The new Apple TV introduced Apple's fantastic new Aerial screensaver: a rotating selection of high-resolution footage of major cities from around the world, captured beautifully in smooth slow-motion by a very expensive drone.

It's in addition to existing screensavers—such as Apple Photos, National Geographic and My Photos—that have been present on the set-top box since the 2nd gen model.

But did you know that you can also stream digital photos stored on your computer to the Apple TV? In this tutorial, we'll be covering setting up your Apple TV and desktop iTunes so that you can create a screensaver with photos from your computer.

How to stop your Apple TV from going to sleep

Your Apple TV goes to sleep by default after an hour. You can also enter sleep mode at any time by long-pressing the Home button on the Siri Remote to bring up a menu with the Sleep option. But what about those times when you want it running uninterrupted?

If your company uses Apple TVs in the conference room, for instance, you will want to leave them running in Conference Room mode, without going to sleep. Or, you may want to leave Apple's gorgeous Aerial screensaver running on your big screen TV until you manually put your Apple TV to sleep.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to prevent your Apple TV from going to sleep after a predetermined period of inactivity, select between the sleep-related options and more.

How to bring back old password-entry grid on fourth-generation Apple TV

To me, the new software keyboard in tvOS is absolutely the biggest pain point and a major step back from the old password-entry grid on previous Apple TV models.

As ridiculous as it sounds, Apple has opted to put all the characters in a single line, two-row layout. This isn't just odd from a user experience standpoint, the new keyboard design in tvOS is a lot slower and clunkier to maneuver than the previous grid-style one.

And with the amount of passwords needing entering in third-party video apps, it's especially annoying and cumbersome. But as it turns out, there's a way to bring back the old password-entry grid to speed up typing those passwords.

How to quickly go back where you were after accidentally scrubbing on Apple TV remote

You're sitting on your couch watching a movie. You reach for the Siri remote to adjust the volume, and once again, you accidentally scrub forward or backward when your finger touches the Touch surface. Now you're struggling to scrub back where you were until you find the right spot.

If you own the new Apple TV, you have most likely faced this annoying situation several times. Thankfully, a quick press of a button can fix this problem and take you right back where you were before you accidentally scrubbed.

How to enable high-contrast cursor on Apple TV

Navigating the tvOS interface on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Siri Remote couldn't be easier—that is, unless your vision is impaired or you simply have difficulty discerning if an on-screen item is selected or not.

Apple's robust set of Accessibility controls come to the rescue via a dedicated switch in Settings that enables a nice glow effect around the selection rectangle to highlight selected items further.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn on a high-contrast cursor on your fourth-generation Apple TV with just a few taps to better delineate focused content.

How to program a universal infrared remote to control your Apple TV

Your universal infrared remote which used to control your old Apple TV should work just fine with the fourth-generation Apple TV right out of the box. In some cases, however, your legacy remote might need configuring in order to learn the signals that the Siri Remote generates.

In this post, we're going to show you how you can program a universal infrared remote that came with your TV, cable box or DVD/Blu-ray player in order to navigate the entirety of tvOS, or use it with a prior Apple TV model.

How to control your TV or receiver volume using the Apple TV remote

In addition to using your Siri Remote to navigate the tvOS user interface and play games on the fourth-generation Apple TV, you can program it to control power and adjust volume levels of your television set or home theater receiver.

That's because your Apple TV and the Siri Remote that came with it are compatible with HDMI-CEC and outfitted with a built-in infrared receiver and blaster.

This means owners of the new Apple TV can adjust the volume of their TVs and home theater receivers via the HDMI cable or line of sight, using just their Siri Remote.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to program your Siri Remote and configure it to work with your home entertainment equipment.

How to adjust streaming resolution for iTunes movies and TV shows on your Apple TV

The new Apple TV, just like its predecessor, is primarily a streaming device despite its strong focus on downloadable apps and games.

If you cannot play movies or television shows from iTunes due to dropped frames and stuttering, your Internet connection is probably unable to keep up. In this tutorial, you'll guide you to choose the quality of video streaming on your Apple TV to ensure the smoothest streaming experience possible.

How to check battery level of Siri Remote and game controllers on Apple TV

Apple TV Siri Remote in hand

The primary input method for the fourth-generation Apple TV is the included Siri Remote though compatible 'Made for iOS' (MFi) Bluetooth controllers can be optionally used to navigate across tvOS.

Input method notwithstanding, you'll want to occasionally check out the battery level of the connected remote or gamepad, especially if it stops working.

As tvOS lacks an iOS-style status bar, seeing the battery level of the Siri Remote and other Bluetooth devices requires paying a quick visit to Settings.

In this tutorial, you're going to learn how to check out the battery level of your Siri Remote or a Bluetooth gamepad paired with an Apple TV.

How to check Wi-Fi signal strength on Apple TV

If you're planning on using your Apple TV over a wireless rather than wired network, your experience may suffer from various issues related to Wi-Fi.

For instance, your Apple TV might be unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network, refuse to stream movies and songs or update apps in the background.

Usually the first step in troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues that might be plaguing your box entails determining whether the Apple TV has enough Wi-Fi signal strength. This is important because the lower the signal, the poorer your experience will be as you'll struggle with reduced download speeds and poor streaming quality.

This tutorial will show you how to determine the Wi-Fi signal strength on your Apple TV.

How to adjust Siri Remote’s Touch surface sensitivity

Apple TV Siri Remote in hand

The new Apple TV ships with Apple's dramatically enhanced Siri Remote with a dedicated trackpad-like area, officially referred to as the Touch surface. In addition to making a clicking sound when pressed to highlight an item, you can swipe left, right, up or down on the Touch surface to navigate the interface, and much more.

Should you find that default touch sensitivity isn't working for you, worry not for tvOS lets you customize the sensitivity of the Siri Remote to match your particular control style.

In this tutorial, we'll detail personalizing the Siri Remote to your liking by adjusting the sensitivity of its Touch surface.