Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Tips on inputting text with the remote, part of Up and Running with Apple TV.
- There's no question, inputting text with the Siri remote is a little tedious. At the time of this recording, the Apple TV does not support bluetooth keyboards, though that could change with a software update in the future. For the moment, the remote is your only option. But there are some nice shortcuts that make text input easier that you might expect. So first I need to go to a text field where I would input some text. So I'm going to go into Settings, into Accounts, and let's say for the sake of example that I did want to log in to my Game Center account.
So I'll choose that, I'll click on Sign In, and now we have a text field. Now of course typing in text is pretty much the same as selecting anything else. I can swipe left, right, up and down on the touch pad, find the letter that I want, click on the touch pad and it types it in. If I want to delete something, I can go all the way to the Delete button which is on the far right, click on that, and it deletes one letter at a time. I also want to point out that you've got these buttons down here in this little bar, so you can toggle between capital letters and lowercase letters.
So if I have a capital letter in the beginning of my email address, I would come down here, click on that, then go up type in that capital letter that I want, go back down, choose lowercase letters, then go back and type in the rest. Now that is kind of tedious and that's the first little shortcut that I want to show you. So again, I want to clear that, so I'm going to go all the way to the Delete button on the far right, click on that, and now I have an empty text field again. So a quicker way of toggling between the capital and lowercase letters is to just click on the Play/Pause button on the Siri remote.
So if I click on that, you'll see it changes the letters between capital and lowercase. So I could find the letter that I want, hit the Play/Pause button to switch to caps, then click on the letter, hit the Play/Pause button again to switch out of caps, and then I could go ahead and type in the rest of what I wanted. So that's one little shortcut. Now you should also be aware of some other options down here in this bar. If you have special characters in whatever you're trying to type, you can click on this button and it changes the keyboard to give you those special characters.
To get back to regular letters, you would go back to either capitals or lowercase here, click on it, and it switches back to the normal keyboard. Then there's this Recent option. When you're using the Apple TV, a lot of times, when you're typing in text, is because you're typing in an email address, you're signing in to your Apple ID or your iCloud or something else. And it would be kind of tedious to type in the same email address over and over. So fortunately the Apple TV remembers recent email addresses that you've typed in. So instead of typing in this whole email address, I can just click on Recent, and then I could choose the one that I want from this Recents list.
Now this one here is not worth anything, but this is the email address that I typed in from my Apple ID. I could select that, and it fills that in for me. So that's pretty handy. Alright, so next, I want to talk about a little pop up window that you can bring up. And one place where you would use that would be to delete letters. Now of course, you could go all the way over here to the far right, hit that Delete button to delete a letter, or no matter where your cursor is, no matter which letter its sitting on, you can press down and hold on the touch pad for a few seconds, and then this little floating window pops up.
And you have a few options here. The first option that I have here in this menu is the capital letter N, that's because I have the lowercase keyboard currently active, so the first option I see here is the capital letter for whichever letter I have selected. I also see these accented characters, I'll talk about that in a moment, but then to the left I see the Delete button. And you'll notice if I swipe to the left, it does not hold the highlight on that Delete button, it just deletes one character.
Now I'm not clicking on anything, I'm just swiping to the left, and each time I swipe to the left, it deletes another character. So I could delete all these text just by swiping to the left a few times. And when I'm finished I could click on the Menu button on the remote, and that little pop up window goes away. Now of course you saw some other useful features in that little pop up window. When you need accented letters, that's where you go. So again, I could click and hold on the track pad here on the letter N, and I could choose one of these accented letters, I could click on it, and it fills that in.
Now we get a lot of accented characters when we go to vowels. So if I click and hold on O, and I get the menu, then I have a whole bunch of options here. And you're going to see accented characters with a lot of different letters. So type in whichever one you want, and then it resets. Or like we saw before, if you just want to get out of this pop up window without typing anything, just press the Menu button. So the last thing I want to point out is when you're swiping left and right, sometimes it can be kind of difficult to land on exactly the letter you want.
So I'm on the letter h, and if I want to go to i, a lot of times I overshoot it by swiping over too far. So instead of swiping, you might want to just tap. So if you tap on the top, bottom, left or right edge of the touch pad, then you'll go one space over. And I'm clicking, I'm not pressing down just to light tap on the edge will take me one space over in the keyboard layout. And that works anywhere on the Apple TV, you can take one space left, right, up or down just by tapping on that edge, then click on the letter you want, and it'll type it in.
So I've typed in some gibberish here but that's not important. What's important is that you saw the tips that you can use to make the text input a little bit easier with the remote. Fortunately, you don't have to enter text very often on the Apple TV. For the times that you do, I hope these tricks will make it easier for you to enter text with the Siri remote.
- Setting up an Apple ID or iCloud account on an Apple TV
- Setting up Home Sharing
- Using the remote and searching with Siri
- Buying and downloading apps, movies, and music
- Managing storage space on an Apple TV
- Setting up parental controls
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 04/14/2016. What changed?
A: we updated four tutorials to cover changes to bluetooth keyboards and devices, Siri, photo viewing, and new interface features in the Apple TV OS (v9.2). Nick also recorded one new video, "Using voice dictation to input text," which shows how to use Siri remote to make it easier to type and search.