You lazy so-and-so's can control the Apple TV 4 with your Apple Watch

We tried it out - here's what works and what doesn't
Apple Watch now controls Apple TV 4

Apple just released a slew of updates to its line of mobile devices. One of the biggest discoveries is that the fourth gen Apple TV now supports Apple's Remote app on watchOS. So? So, you can now use your Apple Watch as a touch pad for controlling your Apple TV.

With watchOS 2.1, owners of both devices (fanboys/girls...) can connect their Apple Watch to the fourth gen Apple TV, running tvOS 9.1.

Our top picks: The best Apple Watch apps

Getting started

To add an Apple Watch, open the Settings app on your Apple TV, select Remotes and Devices and then select Remote App. Choose Apple Watch from the available options.

Open the Remote app on Apple Watch and select Apple TV. Enter the code that pops up on your Apple TV when prompted to connect the two devices.

The Apple Watch Remote app works perfectly for scrolling through content on entertainment apps, like Netflix and Hulu. It can be used to access and playback music in iTunes and there is a play/pause feature so you can stop or start movies, TV shows, and music.

When you swipe, the highlight only moves left, right, up, or down one step. So not quite as handy as the physical Siri Remote, which scrolls across single or multiple steps, depending on how fast you swipe the touch pad.

We had no luck getting the Apple Watch Remote app to work with any games. It isn't clear whether the problem is in the Remote app's functions, the Apple Watch's capabilities, or the individual games.

However, it does work with all of the third-party (non-game) apps we tried, including GIF viewers, faux fireplace apps, Twitter viewers, and of course, streaming media apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, YouTube, and Plex.

Your new remote

The best Apple Watch apps

Do you need to be able to control Apple TV from your wrist? No. Is it fun? Yes.

Without having to move much more than your wrist, you can select an app, find a show to watch, play the show and pause it, too, and even cheese off your sofa buddy when you keep switching what you're watching.

When the remote control first made it into living rooms in the early 1950s, there were probably a lot of people talking about how lazy it made us. No getting up to poke at the set and all that.

Well, smartwatches are continuing that noble tradition, getting rid of the need to dig around or even lean forward. One less use for the old iPad, then.

1 Comment

  • xToddrick says:

    Another example of why a rectangular screen is a much better choice for smartwatches.

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