Apple yesterday officially released tvOS 9.2 to the public. The update includes a variety of new features, such as folder support, Siri Remote dictation, iCloud Photo Library, and more. One thing that was added, however, that was originally expected to be included when the fourth-gen Apple TV initially shipped is support for Bluetooth keyboards. With tvOS 9.2 users are now able to pair Bluetooth keyboards with their Apple TV to more easily make search queries and the like. Read on as we tell you how to go about setting this up..
The first thing you’ll need to do is update your fourth-gen Apple TV to tvOS version 9.2 if you haven’t already. To do this, you’ll need to go to the Settings app on Apple TV, then choose the ‘System’ menu, look for the ‘Maintenance’ heading, and choose ‘Software Updates.’ From there, simply select ‘Update Software’ and select ‘Download and Install.’ The update will then download, and when it’s done, you will be promoted to install it.
While the update is downloading, you’ll want to make sure you have a spare Bluetooth keyboard to pair with your Apple TV. If not, there are a variety of affordable options available on Amazon. While Apple says only Apple Wireless Keyboards are compatible, any Bluetooth keyboard will work:
- Jelly Comb Ultra Slim – $11.99
- Anker Ultra Slim – $13.99
- Caseflex Ultra Slim – $16.95
- Jelly Comb Backlit – $19.99
- Apple Wireless Keyboard – $69
- Logitech K811 – $79.95
- Apple Magic Keyboard – $94.99
Once you have your Bluetooth keyboard of choice and your Apple TV is fully updated to tvOS 9.2, it’s time to pair the keyboard with the Apple TV. This process is relatively straightforward if you’ve ever paired a keyboard to a computer before.
First, head into the Settings app and choose the ‘Remotes and Devices’ menu. Then, under the ‘Other Devices’ header, look for the Bluetooth menu. Now you’ll need to put your keyboard in pairing mode. This varies depending on what keyboard you’re using, but for the Apple Wireless Keyboard I used I simply had to hold the power button on the side for about three seconds and wait for the green indicator light to blink.
Once your keyboard is in pairing mode, it should appear under ‘Other Devices’ in the Bluetooth menu on your Apple TV. Using your Apple TV remote, select the keyboard and wait a few seconds. Now, you should see a prompt asking you to type in a four-digit code on your keyboard followed by the Enter key. After you type this code in, you should be good to go and your keyboard should be forever paired to your Apple TV.
If for some reason you want to disconnect your keyboard from your Apple TV, simply choose it from the same ‘My Devices’ menu and select either ‘Disconnect Device’ or ‘Forget Device.’ If you want to permanently disconnect the keyboard from the TV and pair it to another device, choose the ‘Forget Device’ option, otherwise choose disconnect.
There are a few tips for navigating throughout the tvOS interface using a keyboard. For one, the escape key on the keyboard essentially acts as the menu button, while F3 will bring up the multitasking interface. Clearly the tvOS interface is not entirely optimized for navigating with a keyboard, though, as some things (such as deleting apps from the multitasking menu) are not possible.
With the navigation issues set aside, it never hurts to have a way to more quickly find information with the Apple TV, especially considering keyboard support was expected to be included when the new Apple TV launched last year. tvOS 9.2 is available now for free to all Apple TV fourth-gen users.