Apple released the newest version of Apple TV last holiday season. The 4th generation version features a slew of new features, including an app store and a motion-sensitive remote.
But there are also quite a few hidden tricks and tips that you can use to get the most out of your Apple TV. Below is a list of our favorites.
Using Siri’s new advanced features
Siri’s new advanced voice comprehension — included in the 4th Gen Apple TV — is probably one of the most prominent features that sets it apart from similar devices.
Overwhelmed with scrolling through what seems like an endless list of options? Siri can intelligently search for movies with just a voice command. Instead of manually searching through sections, you can simply ask Siri to show you a list of comedies, action movies, or other options.
You can also ask Siri to launch apps, turn on closed captioning, and ask questions such related to a movie’s cast, crew and production.
Another nifty feature: if someone says something you couldn’t quite make out, you can ask Siri to rewind the movie or show 15 seconds with the “What did he just say?” command.
Use the Remote app for easier navigation
While Siri’s advanced features are an awesome addition to the Apple TV, let’s face it: there are some things that are a bit hard for her to understand.
But that’s okay. Apple currently offers a Remote app on the iOS store that will allow you to use your mobile devices to control an Apple TV, as long as they are on the same wireless network and Home Sharing is set up.
With this option, you can use your iPhone to type in search queries easily.
Alternatively, you can always hook up keyboards, remotes and controllers via Bluetooth.
Spice up the screensaver
The 4th Gen Apple TV comes with an Apple’s “Aerial” screensaver, which shows a slew of high-resolution videos. These videos are high quality, and look awesome on any screen. But the lack of new videos means that it can get repetitive. Quickly.
This is due in part to Apple TV only downloading — by default — new videos once a month. You can switch this option to weekly, daily or never.
A word of caution: these videos tend to rather large in size. So keep that in mind if you’re on a data budget.
Alternatively, you can set Apple TV to display your own photos by going to your Mac and choosing the “home sharing” option. This will allow the Apple TV to display the photos that you choose to share with it. Your personalized screensaver can be accessed under General > Screensavers.
Rearrange the icons on your home screen
The 4th Gen Apple TV is the first to feature an app store. But just going and downloading apps can lead to a clunky and unorganized home screen.
Thankfully, you can rearrange the items on your home screen — much like you can on an iPhone or iPad.
All you have to do is tap and hold a particular app with the remote touchpad. Once held down, the apps will go into the familiar wiggle mode — allowing you to rearrange your apps to your liking.
Free up storage space
Are all those downloaded apps clogging up your system? While the new Apple TV comes with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage, you can probably fill up its storage rather quickly.
Of course, the Apple TV gives you the option of deleting unwanted or space-heavy apps. Just go into Settings > General > Manage Storage, and you’ll see a list of apps and how much space they take up. From there, you can then delete the largest storage hogs.
Alternatively, you can delete apps directly from the home screen.