Apple TV Hidden Features and Where to Find Them

Written by Tijana Kargovska

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Apple TV, as with all other products they have, is really starting to compete against major streaming services such as Amazon, Roku, Google.

If you’re an Apple fan, you know there are always some features ‘hidden’ in their products that make you lose your mind once you find they exist. Apple TV is no exception. There are plenty of features your Apple TV has that you’ve probably never heard of, so keep reading to learn some of them, find and use them.

Apple TV Hidden Features

    1. You can use a device instead of a TV remote - Although you’ll need the Apple remote to set up your TV, after that you can just use your phone. In the App Store, download Apple TV Remote, and use it for remote control. Another thing you can do is use a non-Apple TV remote. You’ll just need to set it up by going to your Apple TV Menu and open Settings. From there, go to General, find Remotes, and go to Learn Remote.
    2. Checking your remote battery status - You can check if your batteries are dead and you just need to change them, or if something’s happened to the remote. Just go to Settings > Remotes and Devices
    3. Remote Sensitivity Adjustments - since the new remotes are with a touchpad, and not buttons, you can adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad, so you don’t accidentally press the play/pause button.
    4. Playback - Apple TV has a playback feature. You can skip 10 seconds forward/backward, you can tell Siri to skip 10 minutes, and ask Siri to play it back for you when you missed the cliffhanger.
    5. App Switcher - you can switch apps using the remote quite easily. There’s a shortcut, just click the home button twice in a row, and you’ll be able to scroll through the apps you last used.
    6. Searching by Voice - The last two Apple TVs that rolled out, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, come with a Siri Remote. Just hold the Siri button, and ask her for recommendations based on genre, title, cast or something else.
    7. Organizing the setup - just like on your iPhone, you can organize your menu setup screen. You can move around the apps, create folders to put them in. You’ll need to highlight the app you want to put in a folder, and press long until the app starts shaking, just like iOS, then just drag it on top of the app you want to create a folder with.
    8. Changing your AirPad security - due to security reasons, the AirPlay settings can be changed. You can allow an iOS device to connect to your TV if it’s connected to your WiFi, you can open it for everyone (not recommended), or devices that have control on your Home App. you can even add a password to your AirPlay security. You can make these changes by going to Settings > AirPlay > Security.
    9. Parental Controls - as in all other Streaming services, you can adjust and change the parental controls. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions, and find the features you want to restrict or adapt.
    10. Having more than one account - you can set up more than one account. You don’t have to share your folders with members of the family, adjust your menu according to your tastes. Just open Settings > Accounts > iTunes and App Store. Go to ‘Add New Apple ID’, add the other account, and switch between accounts in the ‘Settings’ section.
    11. Sharing with Family Sharing - by using Family Sharing, you can share apps, movies, TV with members of the family, so only one user can purchase an item, instead of every individual one. Open Purchased and go to Family Sharing to find this feature.
    12. Bluetooth - the Apple TV can connect to devices via Bluetooth. You can connect headphones, gaming consoles, keyboards using Bluetooth. Just go to Settings > General > Bluetooth.
    13. Subscriptions insight - You can check all your subscriptions you’re paying for on Apple through your Apple TV. Settings > Accounts > Manage Subscriptions
    14. Live TV - There are several live TV stations available. You can simply hold the mic button, ask Siri to put on a Live TV station.
    15. Smart Home - you can control your Smart Home using your Apple TV. All devices connected to the Smart Home will show up, and you can take action through your TV.
    16. Rebooting using the remote - You can reboot your Apple TV directly from the remote, all you need to do is long hold on the Home & Menu buttons until your TV shuts down.
    17. Changing the Home Button action - you can change the action your TV takes when you press the home button. Switching to the TV App is the system default setting the remote takes, but you can change this by going to Settings > Remotes & Devices > Home Button and switching it.
    18. Keyboard shortcuts - There is a keyboard feature in the Apple TV, and as with all devices using a keyboard - there are keyboard shortcuts. Press the Play/Pause button and your keyboard will switch between uppercase/lowercase letters. Also, if you press longer on a letter, you will see its variations in different languages.