8 Apple TV tips you need today

You’ll be getting even more from your Apple TV with these tips

Demo mode

Get that showroom feeling all over again by using the Apple TV’s hidden Demo Mode. You can get to the exact same set-up you find in every single Apple TV inside an Apple Store, and it’s easy to set this up. In Settings, choose General and then About. Click Play/Pause four times and you’re in Demo mode.

Best typing tip

Yes, it is tedious clicking through the on-screen keyboard to search for things on Apple TV, but you can make it a little easier with this tip (and these): When you are entering text simply click and the Play/Pause button on your remote to swiftly switch between lower and upper case keyboards. You can also hover on any letter, hold the touch sensitive pad down and you’ll see all the available alternative letters you can get from that character.


So you’re trying to dictate search terms or your Apple ID using the remote and you get something wrong. What do you do? That is very simple, just say “clear” to erase all text. And don’t forget to say “uppercase” to capitalize a letter.

Press Siri

Want to find out what you can ask Siri on an Apple TV? Just hold down the Siri button and you’ll find out.


You’ve probably figured out how to fast forward and rewind through movies and music using the touch surface on your Apple Remote, but you may not have noticed how you can slowly scrub through what’s playing just by slowly swiping your finger from one side of the surface to the other. (And don’t forget to pause the movie first).


While there are alternatives, Apple turns on the Aerial screensaver by default and most of us enjoy these birds eye views of the world’s cities. Apple releases new sets of these every now and then (600MB at a time) so if you want to get the new screensavers faster then go to Screensaver in Settings>General and change the Download New Videos field from Monthly to Daily or Weekly.


So you’re playing a great track in the Music app and you want to do more with it. You might just want to let Apple Music know how much you love the song, add it to your collection, create a playlist or pump it out through the biggest connected speakers in your house in order to impress your neighbors. So where’s the command for this? (And why can’t Siri get do these things for you?). In an (in my opinion) fairly poor UI decision, to get to these commands you need to get to the Now Playing window, tap on the album and then tap the almost invisible circle-with-dots icon that appears above the album art. Now you can do all kinds of things, including:

  • Go to album
  • Start a Station from the Song
  • Add to My Music
  • Add to a Playlist… (or create a new one)
  • Speakers… (for the ‘hood).

These really should be easier to get to.

Get there faster

Sick of manually clicking through all those folders and apps on the Apple TV home screen and can’t speak to Siri for some reason? The fastest way to slip between all your active applications is to double-click the Home button on your remote control which will take you into the multitask view, where you can quickly scroll to the app you need. The good thing is this works from within any app.

Essential bonus tip: Apple TV acting weird? Restart

This is almost the only tip you need for any iOS device when it starts performing erratically, or volume disappears or any other problem – restart the device. You restart an Apple TV by depressing both Home and Menu buttons at the same time until the device restarts itself again.

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Want more Apple TV tips? If you want to learn how to get the very best out of your Apple TV, please visit my Apple TV website.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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