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How to control the new Apple TV with an iOS device

You're only a couple of software updates away from controlling the new Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad.


Apple on Tuesday released a series of software updates for iOS and OS X devices. For iOS devices, Apple released iOS 9.2 with bug fixes and overall improvements. For the Apple Watch, Apple released WatchOS 2.1 with support for new languages.

As for the new Apple TV, TVOS 9.1 with Siri support for Apple Music, but most importantly, the update also adds support for Apple's iOS Remote app. Using the Remote app users can type usernames and passwords using the iOS devices keyboard, instead of being forced to painstakingly enter log-in credentials using the Siri Remote.

Before you can take control of your TV with your iOS device, you'll need to update the software on your respective devices.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple TV

To update the software on the Apple TV, begin by opening the Settings app. Next, scroll down and select System from the list of options. Under Maintenance, click on Software Updates. Last, select Update Software. Accept and install the update when prompted.

iOS devices

You can update your iOS device by launching the Settings app, then tapping on General > Software Update. Follow the prompts once the update is found.

Apple Watch

We've already walked through how to update your Apple Watch, but here's a refuses: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap on General > Software Update. After the update is found, follow the prompts. Keep in mind you'll need to place your Apple Watch on its charger during the installation process.

Set up the Remote app

With the software across your devices up to date, you can control your Apple TV using your iOS device or Apple Watch with the Remote app.

After installing the app, you'll be asked to enable Home Sharing or add a new device to the app. If you already have Home Sharing enabled on your Apple TV, select this option and sign in using the same Apple ID you used on your Apple TV.

Conversely, you can add an Apple TV that doesn't use the same Home Sharing account using the Add a Device option. On your Apple TV, open the Settings app, then go to Remotes and Devices > Remote App and look for the name of the device you have installed the Remote app on.

On your iOS device or Apple Watch, launch the Remote app and select "Add a device." (If you've already set up the app, you can also select "Add an iTunes Library" from the app's settings screen.) The app will then give you a four-digit code, which you'll need to enter on your Apple TV.