8 Apple TV secrets every iOS user should know

Tips to help you get more from your Apple box...

Apple doesn’t seem to pour much love on the Apple TV, but frequent speculation claims the company has big plans for it, potentially including a Netflix-style movie service. Meanwhile, if you are one of the millions who owns an Apple TV and also uses an iOS device, you may need these tips.


If you’ve not begun using the Remote app with your Apple TV then download it immediately. One of its best features is when you access Netflix from your Apple TV,  the Remote app gives you a proper keyboard to type in movie titles. It's much less unwieldy than attempting to type them in one letter at a time with the silver remote.

Any remote

Access Apple TV>Settings>General>Remotes and select learning remote. Now you can set and map almost any universal remote control to use with your Apple TV. When you choose this option, your Apple TV will show icons that represent the six buttons on the Apple remote, and you map these to available keys on your universal remote.


If you’ve an available Bluetooth keyboard, you can set it up for use with Apple TV. Go to Settings>General>Bluetooth and pair the keyboard to the TV. Now you can use a real keyboard to search for films and other content.

Icon control

You can move the icons on the Apple TV Home screen. To do so, you must choose and highlight an icone and then hold down the play/pause button until it begins to shake. Now you can use the navigation controls on the remote to shift the icon to where you need it to be. Also in Settings, you can hide apps from the main screen (it’s in the Parental Controls, Restrictions menu).

Many formats

Apple TV only plays media in a limited range of formats. To play media from alternative formats you need a media server running Plex Media Server and a copy of Plex on your iOS device (or XBMC or your choice of compatible solution). Now you can play any format supported by Plex and stream it from your iOS device to your TV using Apple TV and AirPlay.

That’s also useful if you run a home media server, because you can stream the media to where you are and share it with a friend using an Apple TV. You don’t need to convert the media -- and Plex organizes all the data for you. You can also jailbreak and install Plex on your Apple TV if you wish.

Also worth a look: iFlicks and Beamer. iFlicks will convert files, while Beamer will stream them from a Mac to Apple TV using AirPlay.


Create an iCloud Photostream of images you like. In Apple TV settings you should choose that stream as the source for your screensaver. As you add new images to the stream from any iOS device it will be added to the slideshow.


The fastest way to put your Apple TV to sleep is to press and hold down the Play/Pause button on the Apple TV (or alternative) remote. A handy extra tip: The fastest way to get back to the Apple TV Home screen is to press and hold down the Menu button.

In-flight access

Hold down the up button during playback and you get to see information about a movie, or hold select to give you audio options such as closed captioning.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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