The Apple TV remote can easily get lost in between the couch cushions, but thanks to the Apple TV Remote app for iPhone and iPad, you’ll always have a backup ready and waiting. Here’s how to set up the app and begin using your iOS device as an Apple TV remote.
While the new remote for the Apple TV 4 is leaps and bounds above the previous generation version, it can still be somewhat cumbersome to use. The trackpad can be a bit finicky at times and the hunt-and-peck style of typing is really annoying, although Siri dictation makes that a bit easier.
The good news is that the iOS app comes with everything that the Apple TV 4 remote has and more, including a built-in keyboard for typing in usernames, passwords, and search terms. The app also works with previous-generation Apple TV models, but you obviously won’t get the Siri support that the Apple TV 4 has. In any case, here’s how to set up the Apple TV remote app on your iOS device.
Start by downloading and installing Apple TV Remote from the App Store if you haven’t already.
Once it’s downloaded onto your device, open it up and tap on “Add Apple TV”.
Select the Apple TV that you want to use with your iPhone or iPad.
A four-digit code will appear on your television screen. Enter in this number into the app.
After that, your iOS device will be paired with your Apple TV and you can immediately begin to control the set-top box using your mobile device. The app is pretty basic, but it has everything that you’d want, including the trackpad, Home button, Menu button, Play/Pause button, and the Siri button. What it doesn’t have, though, are the dedicated volume buttons.
If you have an HDMI-CEC setup setup and have the volume control set up with the Apple TV remote, the physical volume bottoms on your iOS device can control the volume of your televisions speakers. Otherwise, the volume buttons on your iPhone or iPad won’t do this, unfortunately.
The app does have a built-in keyboard, though, so whenever the selector pops into any text box on the Apple TV, the keyboard in the app will automatically appear, along with a text box so that you can what you’re typing without having to look up at your TV while you do so.
Other than that, that’s pretty much all there is to the Apple TV remote app. Again, it’s pretty basic and there’s not much to it, but that’s probably a good thing considering any more features could potentially bog down the experience.