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The Apple TV is an excellent solution for streaming games and entertainment in the home, and it comes into its own when you already have a decent amount of Apple hardware. Naturally, the devices work seamlessly with iPhones and iPads, although they work impressively well even if the only Apple gear you own comes out of the box. Alongside the base unit, you?ll also find yourself with an Apple TV remote.
Apple TV remotes used to be relatively basic. They?d enable users to move around the home screen, play and pause and not really do a whole lot else. This changed in 2015, when the company released the fourth generation of the unit, sparking the most significant change in hardware and software so far. Crucial to the success of the new unit was the introduction of the Siri Remote. It still looks relatively simple, with fewer buttons than even those found on the smart remotes bundled with Samsung televisions. However, they pack plenty of functionality into a relatively small space, and you will find out how to get the most out of the remote in the following tips.
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1. Spend Less Time Putting Your Apple TV into Sleep Mode
For the uninitiated, putting an Apple TV to sleep is a relatively arduous task. There are several ways to do so, but it often involves going through the menus to find the right function. You?ll use this feature if you want to reduce power consumption and turn off any devices connected directly to the Apple TV box. Indeed, the process is potentially so tricky that most people don?t even bother. However, there is an easier way.
It?s particularly simple, and you don?t need anything more than just the home button. Hold it down for two seconds, and the sleep option will appear. You have the opportunity to cancel it if you?ve held the button down by accident. Otherwise, simply hit ?Sleep? and you?ve saved yourself half a minute.
2. Reboot and Restart without Menus
If the picture freezes or anything else goes wrong with an Apple TV, a simple reboot will often get you back on track. However, just as with putting the TV to sleep, you might find yourself struggling with the menus to get to where you need to be.
Fortunately, there?s another button combination that will make things happen without delay. Hold down the Home and Menu buttons together for six seconds, and the box will reboot itself right away.
3. Try the App Switcher with a Couple of Clicks
If you use an iPad or iPhone, you probably use the shortcuts to access different apps on the carousel, rather than heading to the home screen and opening the same app all over again. What you might not know is that the Apple TV includes an almost identical function. Click the home button twice ? just as you do on mobile devices that still have the button ? and you?ll find yourself in the app-switching screen. Use the touch part of the remote to scroll, and click on whatever you?d like to open.
4. Change the Function of the Home Button
To us, and probably you too, the Home button should take you home. However, when you get the Apple TV out of the box, it defaults to opening the native television app. That might be just what you want if you use it the most. However, if you use loads of different apps, you?d likely prefer to head to the home screen to launch what you want. You can do this in the Remotes and Devices area of the menu, where you can reassign the Home button in numerous ways.
5. Launch Your Screensaver Instantly
If you need to leave the room and you?re worried about the image burning in, the screensaver can come to your rescue, much as it does on computers. It will kick in automatically depending on how long you?ve set it for. However, you can use the Apple TV remote to bring it in immediately by clicking the Menu button twice.
6. Drag and Drop Apps on the Home Screen Layout
I remember older generations of the Apple TV, where what you saw was what you got, and new apps would appear at random with software updates. Modern Apple TVs are more flexible, and you have access to an entire App Store?s worth of content. By default, new apps will be added to the home screen at the end of the list. However, they don?t have to stay that way.
Highlight the app you?d like to move and click and hold the touch area. The apps will start to wobble, again just like they do on an iPhone, and you can swipe to move it to somewhere that makes a little more sense.
7. Use the Play Button on the apple tv remote to Switch to Uppercase and Lowercase
If I may be so bold, I?d say that inputting text on an Apple TV remote is even more painful than using a PlayStation controller. That means that I?ll happily take any opportunity to smooth out the process. One such trick is to use the Play button to switch between upper and lowercase as and when you need to. This is particularly handy when entering case-sensitive passwords, and while it only saves a few seconds, it can all add up.
8. Quickly Adjust Your Video Playback Settings
Many of these tips involve saving a few seconds here and there, and this is another. If you?re watching a movie or show and the visuals feel off, you may need to adjust the playback settings. You could dive into the settings menu once again, but you could just as easily access most important options by pulling down on the touch surface while your program plays. Swipe over to the Audio section, and you can adjust the sound and speaker playback options in seconds.
9. Correct Mistakes with Swipe Gestures
I remember having to click all the way to the end and the backspace icon when I made a mistake in a password or when searching for an app or specific show. Fortunately, those days are long gone. You can use the same option you would for adding special characters, whereby you hold down on the character in question to bring up the submenu. Alongside the individual characters, you?ll find an additional backspace key, and you can use that far more quickly.
10. Switch Your Audio Output with a Hold
I mentioned how you could adjust the audio setting while watching a movie with a swipe. However, if you?d like to change them before you start the show, or indeed at any time, you can hold down the play and pause menu. The screen will change to the audio output options, and you can make a new choice if you wish, simply by clicking the correct option with the touch area of the remote.
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