Apple TV is as simple as it gets.

It's a little black box with rounded corners that connects to your HDTV and the internet in order to serve up television programming and other video and audio content from Apple's own apps and third-party services, such as Netflix. It also comes with an aluminium remote and hasn't been majorly updated in years.

It's therefore safe to say almost anyone can figure out how turn on Apple's set-top box and get started watching films in no time, but we're willing to bet it has a few features you haven't tried or heard about after all these years. There is a way, for instance, to quickly get back to the home screen when buried under menus.

Keep in mind Apple TV has been long-rumoured to get an update, so in a few months, you might have a whole new box equipped with many features to learn. Until that day comes, we've rounded up six things you likely didn't know the current Apple TV could do, though admittedly, it probably has several hidden features.

Take a look, below, and let us know if we missed something worth including.

READ: Apple TV 2015: What’s Apple planning for its next set-top box?


Have you ever found yourself clicking through stuff to watch and realised you were 30 menus deep? Well, you're not alone, but instead of clicking the menu button on the remote a bunch of times to get back to the Apple TV home screen (like most people do), just long-press a single button. The menu button, actually.

It's so obvious; it's brilliant. Now you can avoid getting the dreaded thumb-cramp.

While we appreciate Apple updating its Apple TV regularly with new apps and services to choose from (though an Apple TV app store would be even better), we don't like that Apple automatically loads the app icons onto our home screen in whatever order it prefers. Luckily, Apple does give us the ability to move them.

Choose the app icon you want to move, then hold down the select button on the remote, and you'll suddenly see the icon vibrate (similar to how app icons vibrate in iOS), meaning you can move it left, right, up, or down with your remote. Just use the arrow keys, and then press the select button again to set things in place. Simples.

Oh, and if you just want to get rid of an app icon altogether, you can hide it from your home screen. Choose one you want to hide, then hold down the select button on the remote until the icon starts vibrating, and press Play/Pause to access a new menu. From there, click Hide This Item. You can also hide app icons via Settings.

One of the most annoying things about any home entertainment device is the remote, especially if you need to use it for inputing text queries. If you're one of the few - if not only - people in this world to never lose a remote, you still have to suffer through the experience of manually clicking every letter when searching.

But, like with most things in life, there's an app for that.

Should you ever lose your Apple TV remote or simply want to use a keyboard to type a query, download the free Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. It's a beautiful, easy thing (and nearly impossible to lose).


You can rename your Apple TV. Yeah - who knew? This is useful if you have more than one Apple TV in your house and want to know at all times which one is which on your network. To name your Apple TV, navigate to Settings, then General, and Name. At that point, you can choose from Apple's default list of names.

Apple lets you name your Apple TV based on the room it might be in, such as the living room, but if you want to get even more creative, you can designate a custom name. We named ours Bob. Hi, Bob!


Similar to how most cable providers give you the option of clicking "info" on a remote to get more information about whatever you're watching, Apple also lets you get more information about a film or show you're watching. Just press the up button on the remote during playback to see a summary, rating, etc.


This one is handy for those of you who have trouble hearing or simply want to watch a foreign movie but still understand what's happening: Apple TV lets you enable subtitles. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest way by far is to just long-press the select button on the remote during playback.

You'll then see options to enable subtitles, if they're available. Daredevil on Netflix, for instance, lets you choose from English, French, German, and Spanish. Awesome.