use apple tv from an iphone
Learn to use the new remote control app as a stand-in for your Siri Remote
Use Apple’s new app to control it all – even Siri!
Not long after Apple released the fourth-gen Apple TV, the company promised that a new remote control app would be introduced for the device.
That app is now available from the App Store for free. If you’re using Apple’s latest set-top box (the one that runs tvOS and comes with a Siri Remote), you should seriously consider using it instead of the old Remote app – now renamed iTunes Remote, and still available on the store if you only want basic navigation of Apple TV or control of iTunes on your Mac.
The new app works with older models of Apple TV, yet its real advantage comes when used with the latest version. It enables you to ditch the Siri Remote and use your iPhone or iPod touch instead, because those devices include equivalent sensors to the ones used by motion-controlled Apple TV games, as well as a microphone for talking to Siri.
Perhaps you already find yourself reaching for the older Remote app whenever you need to enter your Apple ID’s password to purchase something from the iTunes Store or the App Store, then switch back to the Siri Remote to navigate by voice or to control a game you just bought. Now you can save yourself having to juggle the two and instead do all of these tasks with your iPhone or iPod touch. Also, because the app replicates the Siri Remote’s inputs, it can wake your Apple TV, or put the box to sleep with a long press on its Home button.
Simpler controls for games
For interactive entertainment, the app uses the adaptability of your iOS device’s screen to trim away excess controls and present only the trackpad and the two buttons that work with games. There’s a slight downside to this, depending on your device: in games that use the trackpad to mimic a traditional directional pad, the trackpad’s width can be difficult to span unless you’ve got long thumbs. It’s more comfortable on an iPhone SE or a 6/6s, but you may find it better to invest in a gamepad, such as the SteelSeries Nimbus (see MF295).
Even less enamouring is that the app isn’t designed to reformat itself for an iPad’s 4:3 display, although you can still use it on an iPad, of course. Of all three iPad sizes, the sizing and spacing of controls feels best on an iPad mini.
To get started, download the app by searching for ‘Apple TV Remote’ on the App Store, or go directly to its page by pointing Safari at bit.ly/atvremote.
iOS devices’ sensors allow those devices to serve as a substitute for the Siri Remote