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Apple TV: tvOS 11 Tips page 3

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You can sign in with your TV provider by going to Settings > Accounts > TV Provider. Just follow the on-screen instructions. You will also have to create an account with your cable/satellite provider on their website. Be prepared to dig up your cable/satellite bill so you can enter your account number. Now you can watch most of your cable/satellite shows on Apple TV instead of using your cable box.

tvOS apps usually have much better usability and offer more on-demand options than their cable counterparts. Most cable boxes I have used are really buggy and many of the on demand options just don’t work. Why would these cable systems be any good? Most cable companies are monopolies and they aim to keep it that way as long as possible. They have no incentive to deliver a quality user experience. The consumer may find it tough to justify purchasing an Apple TV when they still need to pay for cable or satellite service.

One Home Screen for Multiple Apple TVs

tvOS 11 introduces unified Home screens for multiple Apple TVs. If your household has multiple Apple TVs, this feature makes it much easier to keep them in sync. Basically, every Apple TV in your home can offer the same apps and Home screen, with minimal effort.

This setting is on by default and is based on your iCloud Apple ID. Any Apple TV signed on with your Apple ID will display the same Home screen and have the same apps installed. You can turn the feature off by navigating to Settings > Accounts > iCloud, then turn off One Home Screen.

Use Your iPhone or iPad to Control Apple TV

The Remote App for Apple TV has been around a long time. In fact, it actually predates Apple TV, as it was originally used to control iTunes. The app was neglected by Apple for a long time and was barely usable. Shortly after Apple TV 4 debuted, they updated the Remote App, but it was still very poor. Finally, with iOS 11, Apple has dramatically improved the Remote App. You can even launch it directly from Control Center!

It’s interesting to note that the new Apple TV Remote app is built into iOS 11. You don’t need to install it. You do need to add it to Control Center. First, turn on your Apple TV and then grab the iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) you would like to use as a remote control. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls on your iOS device. Tap the + icon next to Apple TV Remote. This adds the control to the optional controls at the top. You can change the order of the controls. Now, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the middle of the screen, using one finger. Control Center is displayed. Tap on the Apple TV button on Control Center. You may be prompted to enter a code for activation the first time you use the Apple TV Remote app.

Overall, the new Apple TV Remote app finally delivers full control of your Apple TV. You can even use Siri on Apple TV directly from the Remote App. It’s good to finally see Apple dedicate some resources to this long-neglected app. If I ever drop and break my Siri Remote, it’s good to know that the Apple TV Remote app is finally a usable replacement. next page →

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