How to Use Apple Maps on Apple TV

Explore the world on your TV screen

You can access and explore Apple Maps with an Apple TV. One way to do this is with the TV Maps app from Arno Appenzeller. The app is one of the first mapping apps to appear for Apple TV. It lets you share routes and mapping information using a companion iPhone app on your smartphone. 

What Is TV Maps?

TV Maps is a full-featured map client that includes standard road maps, 3D maps, and the Apple Flyover feature (where available). The app lets you skip across the planet in standard, satellite, and hybrid views. There's also a Flyover Demo mode that lets you watch maps of some cities as screensavers.

You can also share routes, maps, and locations using the companion TV Maps app that's available for iOS devices.

It comes into its own for groups of people planning a trip, or for people who may be about to visit somewhere completely new. It's easier for any family to work together using a map on a big TV screen than using a computer or iPhone.

Explore the world from your sofa with TV Maps

Controls

TV Maps is built to work with your Siri Remote Control on Apple TV 4. It also works with any compatible remote control, including the Remote app on an iPad or iPhone.

This brings all the benefits of touch sensitivity, but some of its controls aren't immediately obvious. To access mapping pins, to zoom in and out of the map, or move your view, tap the Play/Pause button

You can also access the following features using the touch surface on your remote:

  • Search.
  • Change the point of view.
  • Create a route.
  • Access Flyover, drop a pin, and navigate standard, satellite, and hybrid views by selecting the gear icon that appears.

The app always launches in street view. You can slide up and down along the edge of the Siri Remote to zoom in and out of what's taking place on the screen. Once you master the controls, you can explore maps like you would with iOS on an iPhone or macOS on a Mac.

When you press and hold the touch surface, select the gear icon, and then choose Flyover demo, the app takes you to one of the Apple flyover maps, before cycling through to another destination.

How to Create and Share Directions

Here's how to create and share directions with Apple Maps on Apple TV.

  1. Press and hold the touch surface on the Siri Remote.

  2. Press the left button on the menu that appears at the top of the TV screen.

  3. You are asked to set both the start and end points for your trip. Make your selection, then press Go.

Following a short delay, the system determines your route, including the journey distance and duration. It also offers two additional icons you can use:

  • A phone icon that lets you share with your iOS device.
  • A Show directions button that allows you to review the path on your TV screen.

You can also dictate locations in the Entry fields using your Siri remote, which works well when you speak slowly and clearly. If there is a drawback, it is that, rather than offering directions in list form, it provides directions as a sequence of boxes at the top of the Apple TV screen. It would be nice to fully exploit the available on-screen space and explore the entire route in one or more views.

Does It Work?

Depending on the speed of your internet connection, you may experience some lag at times. This is because TV Maps uses the Apple MapKit for mapping, rendering, and creating directions.

You may also experience some delay loading map segments and some stutter when exploring places in Flyover mode. This likely reflects the higher resolution images the app is grabbing from MapKit and the Apple iPhone and iPad-focused servers.

Conclusion

One of the great things about Apple's platforms is the developer community. TV Maps is an excellent example of how developers are empowered to create solutions people need using the tools Apple provides.

The biggest irritation with this app is the delay you encounter when loading some images. On the ​whole, however, this seems to be a great solution if you want to view maps on your TV.