From awesome educational games your kids will love to vacation planning, your Apple TV is good for so much more than just watching TV.
Despite the name, Apple’s media streamer is good for much more than just binge-watching Westworld. And when you truly push it to its limits, a name like “Apple TV” doesn’t do this powerful and multifaceted machine justice. Here are a few of the best insider tips and tricks to navigate your Apple Pizza Ordering-Music Streaming-Remote Controlled Everything-TV.
1. Use Siri to fast-forward and rewind what you’re watching
Thanks to Apple TV’s integration with Siri, you no longer have to endlessly scrub back and forth through movies and shows to find a specific moment. Simply tell Siri to fast forward or rewind a specific amount of time (i.e., 20 minutes) and you’ll be taken to the point in the show you want to view.
2. Get stellar show recommendations
Speaking of maximizing your streaming time, this is super helpful: Ask Siri “What should I watch tonight?” and on the bottom of the screen you’ll get recommended series and movies to check out, curated by editors at Apple.
3. Lower the volume and keep your neighbors happy
Picture this: It’s 11:00pm and you’re watching Schitt’s Creek with your better half or roommate, laughing and howling to your heart’s content….Well, until your angry neighbors knock on your door and ask you to turn it down ten notches and inform you they’re telling building management. Fear not! Enter: salvation. Tell Siri to turn on “Reduce Loud Sounds” and dialogue will be boosted and music and sound effects softened so everyone can carry on peace. This feature is also great if you share a home with multiple roommates or some family members go to sleep sooner than others. P.S. When you don’t want to disrupt others, you can use AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones while streaming things from your Apple TV and keep everyone very, very happy.
4. …And keep the kids happy, too
Ah, Siri, how we love thee when we are juggling dinner prep in one hand and a toddler in the other. Need to distract the kids for a bit? Try asking Siri something like, “Search YouTube for cute puppy videos” and keep the kids entertained while you get a meal on the table. If your kids need some gaming to stay settled, lend them your iPhone, which functions as an extra controller and allows them to challenge the gang to games like Jackbox Party Pack 3, Beat Sports, and Riptide GP.
5. Relocate your go-to apps
Sure, a little gaming is fun once in a blue moon, but putting your most-used apps front-and-center is a big timesaver. Using your remote, you can rearrange your home screen so your favorite apps are on the top row. Then, when you select an app, say Netflix, shortcuts to Netflix content hover right above; from there, you can readily grab a tile to click and start viewing. If you’re the organizing type, you can also organize apps on the Apple TV with folders (just like other Apple products) and name your folders to keep track of everything.
6. Adjust your theme to take advantage of the room
File this under: brilliant. Switch your background to a darker setting, then choose the light background to make posters and icons pop. If you’d like, you can also select the Apple TV’s “Dark Mode” option. All you’ll need is popcorn and you’ll pretty much feel like you’re at the movies. Speaking of which, don’t forget that you can stream content from your iOS or Mac device directly onto your favorite TV, putting your home movies on the big screen in no time.
7. Jet through all those password screens
Ah, the dreaded onscreen keyboard. It’s so clunky to use, sometimes it feels like HBO will just go ahead and disable our account before we get the password right. Instead, try this: When you find yourself in any search field, hold down the Siri button to dictate words or letters. Bye-bye, clunky thumb problems! You can also use your iPhone keyboard by downloading the Apple TV Remote app, and enter text into there whenever you want.
8. Upgrade your screensaver
I swear everyone we know uses the same Apple TV background. To switch it up, go to “Settings” then “General” and then “Screensaver” where you can select amazing shots from Apple’s library, or choose your own photos from your iCloud collection. If you really feel like taking a walk down memory lane, make your own events and wedding-worthy montage effortlessly by watching a “Memory Movie” through the photos app; you can even set it to music and alter the length and content to make it your own.
9. Order a pizza!
Yep, you can order a pizza from your Apple TV. Because who doesn’t love love movie night and pizza? Or pizza…and anything, really. If you customize your pizza from Papa John’s using Apple TV, you’ll get 25% off your order. Score!
10. Group Tinder. Let me repeat: Group Tinder
Even if you’re taken, you know you love stealing your friend’s app and swiping your way through his or her matches. Now, you can transform this favorite happy hour pastime into a group adventure. Download the Tinder app for Apple TV (yes, really) and get to swiping.