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How to Use Your iPhone as a Remote for Apple TV in iOS 16

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The iPhone has a built-in Apple TV Remote which is a swipe and tap away at all times. Here’s how to get the most out of this handy tool.

Apple used to offer the Apple TV Remote as a separate download from the App Store. It removed the app and integrated it as a system-wide feature in 2016.

If you still have that old app installed, go ahead and delete it as it no longer works well in iOS 16. The built-in Apple TV Remote app is much better at the system level thanks to its refresh and update.

Although it doesn’t have an app icon in the app library, the new system-wide Apple TV Remote software works as a fully functional app once it’s launched. Users can see it in the app switcher and quickly open it by swiping between apps.

Apple TV Remote app interface

The Apple TV Remote app provides most of the functionality of the Siri Remote. The large empty space acts as a trackpad while all the face buttons function similarly to their physical counterparts.

There is a play/pause button, a TV button, a mute button, a power button, and a menu button. The menu button at the top works in some apps to open a menu menu but is not supported everywhere. The same applies to the channel buttons at the bottom right of the interface – they are supported in a select few applications.

The Remote app has the same controls as Siri Remote

With the Apple TV Remote app:

  • Drag and click in the blank gray space to navigate the Apple TV interface.
  • The play/pause button will stop playing the active video. Elsewhere, Apple Music is playing or paused.
  • Depending on your Apple TV settings, the used TV button will take you home or to the TV app. Press and hold the TV button to open Control Center.
  • The mute button only works as the volume buttons do. Turns gray when unavailable

Physical volume buttons control the Apple TV’s volume under certain conditions, and more on that below. The sleep/wake button calls Siri on your Apple TV when you hold it down.

How to operate the Apple TV Remote app

Apple has introduced several shortcuts to launch the Apple TV Remote app. The primary launcher is inside the Control Center, represented by a remote icon.

Launch the Apple TV Remote app using the shortcuts in the Now Playing Tools

Launch the Apple TV Remote app using the shortcuts in the Now Playing Tools

When connected to an Apple TV via the Apple TV Remote app, it establishes an AirPlay 2 connection.

This means that content now playing in Control Center and on the Lock screen will display what’s playing on your Apple TV. A remote code in the Now Playing Tools in either location will launch the Remote app.

Anytime a user opens an app on the Apple TV that asks for a text or password, nearby iPhones on the same network will be prompted to enter information via their keyboard. This notification will launch the Apple TV Remote app automatically.

How to control TV volume from the Apple TV Remote app

The Apple TV Remote app can control the media volume under certain conditions. Since the iPhone does not have an infrared emitter, it cannot directly process the volume like the Siri Remote can.

Volume control is only available under certain conditions

Volume control is only available under certain conditions

Instead, the app relies on HDMI CEC or AirPlay control. If you use the Apple TV Remote app on an AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV, it can control the volume of the TV or ARC-connected speakers.

When controlling an Apple TV via the Remote app, users can adjust the volume if TV audio is being played through ARC-connected speakers. ARC is an HDMI port that relays the audio input to a receiver or amplifier. The volume cannot be controlled if directed through an optical connection from the TV.

If your Apple TV is part of an AirPlay 2 suite with other speakers or HomePods, the Apple TV Remote app can control the volume as well. For example, if the user has a HomePod pair set as the audio output.

Additional Features for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have some unique features thanks to their exclusive hardware. Always On Display and Dynamic Island create two new interactions for the Apple TV Remote app.

Dynamic Island adds another shortcut to the Remote app

Dynamic Island adds another shortcut to the Remote app

When connected to an Apple TV via AirPlay 2, Now Playing content will appear in Dynamic Island. Press and hold Dynamic Island to see a shortcut to the Apple TV Remote app.

Always On Display will keep the Apple TV Remote app on screen at all times. Tapping the screen will activate the screen and instantly enable interaction with the remote control.

How to put the Apple TV Remote app back on your home screen

Since Apple no longer ships the Apple TV Remote as a separate app in the App Store, some users may lose its use as an icon on the home screen. Fortunately, it can still be added using shortcuts.

Add the Apple TV Remote back to your home screen with shortcuts

Add the Apple TV Remote back to your home screen with shortcuts

  1. Open Shortcuts. Press “+” in the upper right corner.
  2. Look for the term “Remote” in the Action Locator view. Select “Apple TV Remote”.
  3. Select “Wake Apple TV” from the menu, then open the menu again and select “Show Remote Control.”
  4. Tap the blue text on each action to select the desired Apple TV for those actions.
  5. Click on the top menu to rename the action. Click the top menu again to add it to the home screen.
  6. The icon and name chosen for the Home screen icon will appear in the next open slot. Click on it to run the shortcut.

Shortcuts is a powerful tool that allows users to choose any number of actions to associate with the press of a button. Customize your Apple TV Remote shortcut to do whatever actions you want, even turning on smart lights or opening a specific app on your Apple TV.

We chose a custom icon that we made with Apple’s SF icons. There are plenty of icons available online for free or in premium icon packs to customize this launcher however you like.

#iPhone #Remote #Apple #iOS

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