If you own an Apple TV, the physical remote it comes with is annoyingly small and limited. And let’s face it, the thing is easy to misplace or get lost in the couch cushions. If you end up without your Apple TV’s physical remote, you can turn to your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how to control your Apple TV with Apple’s Remote app.
Note: In previous versions of iOS you had to download Apple’s separate “remote app” but now, since iOS 12 and higher, the remote is included directly on the iPhone or iPad.
Remote Control Apple TV with iPhone or iPad
To get started, you need to move the Apple TV Remote button to Control Center. To get started open Settings > Control Center. Then look under the “Included Controls” section to see if the remote is there. If not, just swipe down to the “More Controls” section and tap the + icon next to Apple TV Remote.
That will place the Apple TV Remote control into the “Included Controls” section.
Make sure your iPhone or iPad and Apple TV are on the same network. Then open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad by swiping from the top-right edge of the screen. Or, if on an older iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring it up.
You should see the Apple TV Remote button listed in Control Center like shown in the image below. Just tap it to launch the Remote app.
Using the Apple TV Remote App
When the Remote app launches, choose the TV you want to control. For example, I have multiple Apple TV boxes and want to control the one in my office.
If this is the first time setting the remote app up, you will be asked for a four-digit verification code. Just type in the code you see on your TV on your iPhone to pair them up.
That’s it. Now you can start using the remote app just on your iPhone or iPad like you would the physical remote. The experience is similar. There is a touchpad at the top for navigating around on the screen. And there are also buttons for skipping through media, Home, Search, Play/Pause, Search, and Siri.
If you tap the Search button your can type in what you’re looking for using the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad. Or you can use Siri to have it look something up for you on the iPhone.
Using the Apple TV Remote on your iPhone or iPad is nice if you are setting up apps from streaming services, for example. You can use the device’s onscreen keyboard to type out your passwords. Instead of using the physical remote and swiping through the TV’s on-screen keyboard. Using your phone is a real time-saver.