12 Apple TV 4 Tips You've Probably Never Used

You won't believe you didn't know some of these great tips

Apple packs all kinds of less obvious features inside every iOS device. Apple TV really is no exception. From hidden menus to the amazing Siri Remote's talents and super-easy ways to navigate between on-screen items, this short tips collection will have you getting much more from your Apple set-top-box in no time whatsoever, so take a look:

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Swipe Different!

Apple TV Siri Remote
Get to know your Apple TV Siri Remote. Jonny Evans

Your Apple Siri Remote can do all kinds of things, for example, did you know that a quick swipe down on the remote while watching video will enable you to do all kinds of cool things, including switching on captions, navigating through chapters and more? Just swipe up again to get rid of the menu that appears.

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Don't Annoy The Family

Apple TV and headphones
Smaller than your headphones, Apple TV 4 packs a big punch.

You can watch TV in total silence using Bluetooth headphones and your Apple TV. Just follow the same pairing instructions as those provided in How to Connect a Bluetooth Keyboard to Apple TV.

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Use Any Remote

Logitech universal remote with display
Use many third party universal remote controls with your Apple TV.

You can use any universal infrared remote to control Apple TV. Open Settings>Remotes and Devices and choose Learn Remote. You’ll be asked to follow a series of simple instructions in order to assign buttons on the infrared remote to controlling your Apple TV. You can even control your system using an Apple Watch.

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Digging Deep Settings

Apple TV in demo mode
You can access hidden settings on your Apple TV.

Apple TV has a secret advanced settings menu. This is aimed at developers and tech support specialists, so the controls aren't going to be that useful to most people, but if you want to see them just press the Play/Pause button four times when in Settings > Software Updates, and all will then be revealed.

There’s another cool hidden trick – Demo Mode. This is the mode you find Apple TV units in when you come across them in the showroom at your local Apple Retail Store. To put your Apple TV into this mode, tap through to Settings>General>About, click Play/Pause four times and your Apple TV will be set up.

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The Mac Mirror

Apple TV mirroring iPhone and iPad display
If you can see it on an Apple device you can watch it on your TV with Apple TV.

You can mirror content from your iPhone, iPad or any Mac running the latest OS versions. Just swipe up from the bottom of your iOS device to access Control Center and tap AirPlay, or choose AirPlay under the display option on your OS X Menu bar. You’ll be asked to choose the correct Apple TV, once you’ve done so you’ll be able to mirror the action on screen - you can even use your Apple TV as a larger display.

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Double Click

App Store on Apple TV
Flip between active apps with ease in Multitask mode.

The fastest way to navigate between active apps on your Apple TV is simply to double-click the Home button on your Apple Siri Remote. This will open up the multitasking screen where you can switch quickly to the app you need, all you need to do is swipe left or right, and tap to select the application you want to use.

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May the Force be With You

qui gon and obi wan fighting darth maul
Can you feel the force?.

Siri is getting pretty smart. These days it even knows to get a movie for you when you utter ​some famous movie quotes, “May the force be with you,” for example. You can also ask about who directed movies, who starred in them, and more.

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The Best Troubleshooting Tip

Apple TV and remote
Straight out of the box here's how to get started using an Apple TV. Apple TV blog

If your Apple TV seems a little buggy or erratic, the volume cuts or apps freeze then it probably needs a restart. To restart it you must hold down the Menu and Home buttons simultaneously until it switches itself off and on again. Read more troubleshooting tips here.

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Use Your Voice

Apple Tv remote touchpad
If you can't see what's happening on screen it will still be difficult to get the most out of your Apple Siri Remote.

VoiceOver is Apple’s voice activated control system for iOS and it’s available on Apple TV. When it is activated Apple TV will attempt to guide you through everything taking place on your screen. Just press the Siri Remote’s Menu button three times to activate this feature, or press it three times again to switch it off

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Rename Your Apple TV

Unboxed Apple TVs on display
How many Apple TVs do you need?.

If you use multiple Apple TVs around your home it makes sense to give them individual names, particularly if you hope to use mirroring to access content on the big screen. You can rename your Apple TV boxes in Settings>AirPlay>Apple TV Name

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The Best On-Screen Keyboard Tip, Ever

Logitech K380 keyboard BTY3 Blue
You can use any current Bluetooth keyboard as a control interface for your Apple TV. Jonny

Yes, it’s tedious writing with the on-screen keyboard, but you can make it a little easier with this great tip: When typing just click the Play/Pause button to change the keyboard from lowercase to uppercase, or hover over any letter and depress the trackpad to access a menu that lets you use all kinds of alternatives to that letter. More great text entry tips.

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What Did He Say?

Natalie Portman in Closer with pink hair
Don't miss what they said with this simple tip.

Have you ever become distracted while watching a movie and missed a crucial slice of dialog? It’s incredibly tedious to try to get back there, is it not? Not anymore, just ask Siri, “What did he say?” and the film will automatically rewind a few seconds so you can catch up.

Always more to learn

Apple is fantastic at creating products you can begin using effectively once you get them out the box, layering more sophisticated tools you can learn as you get to know your product. Apple TV is a great example of this.

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