Trending December 2023 # Homekit Weekly: Previewing Tv Support In The Home App On Ios 12.2 # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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Apple made news during CES 2023 earlier this month when it revealed AirPlay 2 for video and HomeKit support for smart TVs. We now know a bit more about how HomeKit will work with smart TVs and what features Apple TV will gain or miss.

Apple released the first developer and public iOS 12.2 beta last week which introduces support for HomeKit TVs in the Home app, and HomeKit TV maker Vizio has opened a beta program for customers who want to test new features early.

Developer Khaos Tian and the HomeBridge community have also made it possible to bring unofficial support to LG smart TVs running webOS, offering us a sneak peek at how HomeKit TVs will work with iOS and Siri (while also proving HomeKit support is possible on older LG TVs that won’t be officially supported).

While this method doesn’t add AirPlay 2 to smart TVs, it does add some useful HomeKit features to smart TVs which can complement features that are part of Apple TV (including AirPlay 2).

iOS 12.2 and tvOS 12.2

Starting with iOS 12.2, you can add HomeKit TVs to the Home app on iPhone and iPad. Once added to the Home app on iOS, the HomeKit TV will also appear on the Home app for the Mac. If favorited, your TV will also be included in the Home app on watchOS 5.2. And yes, Siri on the Apple TV can even turn your smart TV off if you ask the right way on tvOS 12.2.

Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K already appear in the Home app and can serve as HomeKit hubs, but Apple TV doesn’t do much with HomeKit. tvOS 12.2 does enable new AirPlay 2 video features for Apple TV though.

Specifically, you can tell Siri on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12.2 to play a movie or TV show from your iTunes purchase history to play on a specific TV, then the video will begin playing on the Apple TV — totally hands-free. Siri on HomePod should work after a software update, but it has no beta program.

You can also control playback from the iPhone or iPad Lock screen or Apple TV’s Now Playing tile when using this method.  Unfortunately, you still can’t use an Apple TV to make your regular TV gain HomeKit features — even with HDMI-CEC.

TV + Home app

So what can TVs do with HomeKit? As we’ve seen, the answer is a lot! HomeKit TVs have basic on and off control, the ability to switch between TV inputs which you can name, and the option to include in scenes and automations with other accessories.

You can even select which input the TV should use when controlled through a scene or automation. This means you could have a scene that sets your lights to one brightness level and color while turning your TV on to your game console input, while another set totally turns off your lights and turns your TV on to your Apple TV input for watching movies.

Siri control for switching inputs outside of scenes is missing for now, but it seems like a feature we could easily see in the future. For now, Siri is limited to turning TVs on and off and activating pre-configured scenes that include HomeKit TVs.

In terms of automation, you can build custom automations that fit your routine without manually toggling a status in the Home app or using Siri. For example, you can automatically turn your TV off when the last person leaves home so it’s never left on without someone watching, or you could automatically turn your TV off every night at 10 pm to remind yourself to go to bed.

You can use view the Home app remotely to know if your TV is left on, which input it’s using, and remotely switch inputs or turn it off — something that could be useful for parents!

Control Center

Quick access to TV controls from Control Center on the iPhone and iPad is especially useful. Simply include your HomeKit TV as one of your first nine favorite accessories, and it will appear within the Home tile from Control Center. From here you have fast access to turning your TV on and off and switching between inputs.

The Apple TV Remote tile has also been updated to work with HomeKit TVs. You’ve always been able to switch between Apple TVs, and now you can switch between HomeKit TVs as well. Navigation is different for HomeKit TVs, replacing a sliding gesture area with a virtual directional pad, but it works — you just need to pay more attention when navigating.

While smart TVs that officially support HomeKit and AirPlay 2 will offer a smoother out-of-the-box set up experience, the HomeBridge method for LG smart TVs running webOS has its perks. For example, it’s possible to map specific LG webOS apps like the browser, third-party fireplace app, YouTube with 4K video, and Plex to inputs.

Volume control also works using this method by using the physical volume buttons on the iPhone or iPad when in the TV Remote tile on Control Center, changing the volume level on my HDMI-connected Dolby Atmos sound bar.

HomeKit and AirPlay 2 coming to smart TVs is exciting news. The features offered are genuinely useful and didn’t exist in the Apple ecosystem before. You could use complicated workarounds to make TVs work with HomeKit, but iOS 12.2 makes smart TVs first-class HomeKit accessories in the Home app.

We still need to wait for iOS 12.2 to be finalized to know what might change between the beta period and final release, and HomeKit TVs are already being sold although official support will need to wait until Apple’s software is ready to go. But Vizio’s beta program and HomeBridge’s unofficial support is already giving us a great preview at what to expect!

Personally, I also hope the Apple TV adopts some of the new features that are exclusive to HomeKit TVs for now, like the ability to be included with scenes and automation and control power which could work using HDMI-CEC (it already works with specific controls but not HomeKit). But HomeKit will definitely be a top feature worth considering the next time you’re in the market for a new TV, and it’s a great free feature if it’s coming to a smart TV you already own.

Catch up on earlier HomeKit Weekly entries below:

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How To Change App Icon In Ios 14 Home Screen

How to Change App Icon in iOS 14 Home Screen

Yeah!! Users had an amazing mobile OS to access along with top notch security features to keep everything safe. But as unbelievable as it looks, they had no control over making changes to the device interface, adding widgets to screen, & whatnot. & here you have got iOS24 that’s letting you do all those things along with changing app icons in iPhone (iOS 14). So without further ado, let’s look at the ways that can help us out here to change icons on iPhone.

Also Read: Ways to Use New iPhone Home Screen Widgets in iOS 14

How to Change App Icons in iOS 14 Home Screen

Changing app icons is like redesigning your home screen because you have the liberty to keep it the way you want. & let me tell you, users from all over the world are loving this feature on their iPhones. In short, changing the default app icons on iOS 14 with your-choice-of-image will bring a fresh look to your iPhone home screen. So let’s grab it & start this beautiful experience by changing the app icons on your iOS 14 home screen without any hassle:

1. Let’s start with downloading & installing the Shortcuts app on your iPhone (do more with your apps).

2. Now launch the Shortcuts app on the iPhone & tap on the “+” icon (top right corner of the screen).

3. Follow the process by tapping on Add Action that you will see on the next screen.

5. The tool will show you the Open App action in the below list so tap on it as soon as you discover it in the list.

7. Once the app has been narrowed down, select it, & tap on the Burger menu (on the top right side of the screen).

8. Under the Burger menu, you will find many options, out of which, you need to select Add to Home Screen.

10. Here, tap on the drop down menu & choose the appropriate option among many (Take Photo, Choose Photo, or Choose File).

11. Select the image you want to add on the app & follow this by tapping under Home Screen Name and Icon.

Please note there will be incidents where you already have the same app on home screen already & after creating a shortcut, there will be two. Since you wouldn’t want to get rid of the new one you just created, shift the original app icon to the App Library (don’t delete this original one).

Also Read: How to Use Picture in Picture Mode in iOS 14

Is Changing App Icons on iPhone Lengthy Process?

There is no denial in saying that there are many steps you will need to follow to create your customized app icons. However, the outcome would be so worth it that you won’t mind these steps. Plus, all of the iPhone users waited a long time to get control over how the apps must look like on the home screen & finally they have it.

Plus, if you think regardless, then don’t follow the process of changing app icons in iOS 14 for all the apps, just a few.

Wrapping Up

Did you also wish to change app icons in iPhone before & after the iOS 14 features announcement, couldn’t hold it? Well, I did & finally I have the ways in front of me that lets me have control over my iOS device more than ever.

So don’t wait much & start exploring these steps via Shortcuts app to give your iPhone home screen a fresh new look quicker than ever by changing the app icons.

Next Read

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Fix: iPhone Keeps Restarting Randomly After iOS 14/13/12 Update?

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Ankit Agarwal

Apple Announces Ios 12.2, Macos 10.14.4 Coming Today

During its “It’s Show Time” event at the Steve Jobs Theater today, Apple announced that the latest versions of its operating systems will be released later today. The updates will include support for the new services announced during the event, including News+, with the magazines and exclusive content offerings.

Update: iOS 12.2 is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Other new features on iOS 12.2 include new Animoji characters: the shark, owl, giraffe, and warthog options — plus a few more changes.

iOS 12.2 release notes

iOS 12.2 provides support for Apple News+, adds the ability for Siri to play videos from your iOS device to Apple TV, and includes four new Animoji. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Apple News+

Apple News+ is a new subscription service that extends the Apple News experience with hundreds of magazines and top newspapers

Our editors handpick top articles and magazine issues, and you also get personalized recommendations on the topics most interesting to you

Apple News is now available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French

Apple News+ is available in the U.S. and in Canada, with dozens of additional Canadian magazines

Siri

Ask Siri on your iPhone or iPad to play any video, show, movie, sports game, or channel on Apple TV. For example, “Hey Siri, play Free Solo on my TV”

Animoji

Four new Animoji—owl, boar, giraffe and shark—are included for iPhone X and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch

AirPlay

Dedicated TV controls in Control Center and on the Lock Screen give you quick access to TV controls

AirPlay multitasking for video allows you to browse other apps, as well as play other short form audio and video files locally on your device without interrupting AirPlay

AirPlay destinations are now grouped by content type making it faster for you to find what device you want to play to

Apple Pay

Apple Pay Cash customers can now transfer money to their bank accounts instantly using their Visa debit cards

Wallet app now conveniently displays Apple Pay credit and debit transactions right below the card

Screen Time

Downtime can be configured with a different schedule for each day of the week

A new toggle enables easily turning app limits on or off temporarily

Safari

Website sign-in now occurs automatically after filling credentials with Password AutoFill

Warnings now appear when loading unencrypted webpages

Removes support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable; Intelligent Tracking Prevention now protects against cross-site tracking by default

Smart Search Field queries can now be modified by tapping the arrow icon next to search suggestions

Apple Music

The Browse tab shows more editorial highlights on a single page making it easier to discover new music, playlists, and more

AirPods

Support for new AirPods (2nd generation)

This update also includes other improvements and bug fixes. This update:

Supports Air Quality Index in Maps for US, UK, and India

Includes information in Settings on how much time remains on your device’s warranty period

Supports real-time text (RTT) for phone calls made through a nearby iPhone on iPad and iPod Touch

Displays a “5G E” icon for iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or iPad Pro 11-inch indicating that users are in an area where AT&T’s 5G Evolution network is available

Improves quality of audio recordings in Messages

Improves stability and performance of Apple TV Remote on iOS

Fixes an issue that prevented some missed calls from appearing in Notification Center

Addresses an issue where a badge notification could appear on Settings even though no action is needed

Fixes an issue that could cause Voice Memos to automatically play back recordings after connecting to a car Bluetooth device

Resolves an issue that could cause Voice Memos to temporarily prevent renaming a recording

iOS 12.2 release notes for HomePod:

iOS 12.2 includes support for joining most enterprise or university campus 802.1x networks that do not require unique credentials to join.

macOS 10.14.4 release notes:

The macOS Mojave 10.14.4 update adds support for Apple News+, includes bug fixes and improvements, improves the stability and reliability of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

Apple News+

Apple News+ is a new subscription service that extends the Apple News experience with hundreds of magazines and top newspapers

Our editors handpick top articles and magazine issues, and you also get personalized recommendations on the topics most interesting to you

Apple News is now available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French

Apple News+ is available in the U.S. and in Canada, with dozens of additional Canadian magazines

Safari

Adds Dark Mode support for websites that support custom color schemes

Streamlines website login when filling credentials with Password AutoFill

Allows push notification prompts only after interacting with a website

Adds a warning when an insecure webpage is loaded

Removes support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable; Intelligent Tracking Prevention now protects against cross-site tracking by default

iTunes

Shows more editorial highlights on a single page in the Browse tab, making it easier to discover new music, playlists, and more in Apple Music

AirPods

Adds support for new AirPods (2nd generation)

More

Supports Air Quality Index in Maps for US, UK and India

Improves the quality of audio recordings in Messages

Supports real-time text (RTT) for phone calls made through a nearby iPhone on Mac

Provides enhanced support for external GPUs in Activity Monitor

Fixes an App Store issue that may have prevented adoption of the latest versions of Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, and GarageBand

Improves the reliability of USB audio devices when used with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models introduced in 2023

Corrects the default screen brightness for MacBook Air (Fall 2023)

Fixes a graphics compatibility issue that may occur on some external displays connected to Mac mini (2023)

Resolves Wi-Fi connection issues that may occur after upgrading to macOS Mojave

Fixes an issue where re-adding an Exchange account may cause it to disappear from Internet Accounts

Fixes an issue where AOL user passwords may be frequently requested in Mail

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How To Get The Linux Gui App Support On Windows Subsystem For Linux (Wsl)

After a full Linux kernel was integrated into Windows 10, Microsoft had revealed at BUILD 2023 that it was working towards a complete Graphical User Interface (GUI) support for Linux apps on the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Thanks to this built-in Linux kernel, there was decent support for a variety of Linux features and tools. But there was no way to run, test, and use Linux GUI apps. 

That is, until now. Those enrolled in the Windows Insider program will now get a preview of GUI application support, allowing developers to build, test, and run their applications in a Linux environment.

The lack of GUI support had been a common issue over which many developers opted out of the Windows experience for its open-source counterpart. But with the latest Windows 10 Build 21364, Microsoft seeks to redress that by introducing support for Linux apps requiring a GUI, making this a crucial update for developers who had hitherto prized Linux over Windows due to the availability of extensive apps tools there. 

What can GUI application support do?

Before this update, developers had access to Linux command-line tools, features and functionalities, and apps, but no support for GUI apps. To get around the limitation, developers had to contend with third-party servers and tools. 

With GUI application support, Windows users won’t even have to start an X server themselves. As soon as a Linux GUI app is run, a companion system distro is launched automatically. As soon as you close the WSL, the system distro will close as well. 

Developers of different ilks will find GUI application support useful in different ways. Here’s a look at the things that the recent Windows (Insider) update brings to the table.

Test cross-platform apps

Other than allowing developers to test and run such applications in a Linux environment, the GUI app support will also let users run Linux-only GUI applications. Cross-platform app testing is also simplified significantly since one can test the app directly on Windows, and then in a Linux environment without having to switch systems. As there is no need for a virtual machine, the apps also load up faster and run reliably.

Develop and test Linux projects (with audio support)

The GUI application support on the WSL is a real boon for Linux developers that want to run or test apps requiring audio and microphone support. The out of the box audio-mic support is integral for many who have to develop,  test, or run video player apps and telecommunications apps. The feature is enabled through a Linux companion distribution and is disabled when you close the app. 

Run Linux apps 3D acceleration 

Developers can also run Linux apps with 3D acceleration, due in no small part to a native WSL and its easy access to your system’s GPU. That means complex 3D rendering will be possible for apps that require it which will make them run much faster and smoother.

The companion system distro hosts an X server, Wayland, pulse audio server, and anything else that Linux GUI applications need to interact with Windows. The whole experience has thus become much more fluid and interactive, giving Windows itself a higher level of flexibility.

How to get the Initial Linux GUI app support preview

In order to get a preview of the GUI app support for the WSL, you will have to make sure that you’re on the Windows 10 Insiders preview build 21364. If you are, simply update your Windows and restart for the feature to be available to you. 

If you have a WSL on your system already, you need only run the following command:

wsl --update 

If the same is not enabled yet, run the following:

wsl --install

GUI app support for WSL is an important feature that will make using Linux tools on Windows that much simpler and more inviting. Expect this feature to be part of the full OS update later this year. 

Ios 7: The Ultimate Notes App Guide

The Notes app is a stock application for the iPhone that allows you to jot down quick notes on a whim. It’s a fast running app with low overhead that’s perfect for saving a random note or thought.

There are, of course, far more powerful note-taking options available on the App Store. Apps like Day One, and my favorite, Evernote, quickly come to mind. But what the stock Notes app lacks in features, it makes up for with its speed, efficiency, and ease of use. It’s a no-nonsense tool that makes taking notes a cinch.

After the break, we’ll cover the stock Notes app inside and out. Thought you knew everything that there was to know about the Notes app? Have a look inside for the details.

Table of contents

Basics Creating a new note

Creating a new note with the stock Notes app is extremely simple and straightforward. Launch the stock Notes app, and then tap the New button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Once you do, you’ll be taken to an individual note, and the keyboard will automatically appear in order for you to begin typing immediately.

Creating a new note

Once you are finished composing your new note, tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This will cause the keyboard to disappear, providing you with a full view of your completed note.

We’ll discuss folders a bit later, but I’ll just mention that you can determine where a note is created by selecting a specific folder before proceeding with note creation. You can also establish a default folder for new notes, which we’ll discuss later as well.

Viewing notes

Notes can be viewed individually, or you can view a list of all of the notes available to you. While viewing an individual note, you’ll notice a Notes button in the upper left-hand corner of the interface. Tap this button to go back to your list of all available notes.

The individual note view interface contains several buttons and a timestamp at the top of the page. This timestamp, which includes both the date and time, will update based on the last time the individual note received an update.

The individual note view lets you view and edit notes

At the bottom of the individual note view interface, lie three buttons. Starting from left to right, there is a Share button, a Delete button, and a Compose button. These three buttons are hidden when in editing mode, but appear again after tapping Done in the upper right-hand corner of the individual note view interface.

The list view inside the stock Notes app contains a list of all of the notes available to you. These are notes that you’ve created, perhaps on the current device, or on another device via syncing.

This list view shows all of the notes for a specific folder

On the right-side of each list view rests a timestamp. This timestamp will be an actual time if the note was created within the last 24 hours. The timestamp will change to a datestamp if the note goes back further than a day.

If you have multiple accounts setup to sync notes, you will see a Folders button in the upper left-hand corner of the Notes app list view. Tap this button to be taken to the list of folders, which correspond to the accounts that you have established for note syncing.

Along with the folders available via cloud syncing, you’ll notice two additional folders—All Notes—which acts as a roll up for all notes across all accounts—and On My iPhone—which contains offline local notes. Again, if you don’t have syncing established for notes, then these folders won’t appear.

Folders are based on the accounts you have configured and enabled for notes

You can easily switch between folders to display only Notes that correspond to a certain account. Of course, if you want to see all notes and search across all notes, you’ll want to ensure that you’re inside the All Notes folder.

When creating a new note, the note will appear in the folder that you have selected. If you’re in the All Notes folder, the note will appear in the default folder selected in the Notes app preferences, which are found in the stock Settings app.

Editing a note

If you know how to create notes, then you pretty much already know how to edit notes. Doing so, as is the case with virtually every other function of the Notes app, is simple and straightforward.

To edit a note, tap on any note from the list view, and then tap in the body of the note. Doing this should cause the keyboard to appear, along with the cursor, which can be moved around to suit your editing needs.

Editing a note

Once you are finished with your edits, tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to finalize your changes. As previously mentioned, the time stamp that appears at the top of the note will be updated to relate your most recent change.

Deleting a note

Deleting notes can be accomplished in one of two ways. First, you can delete a note directly from the Notes app list view. To do so, venture to the list view, and perform a swipe from right-to-left gesture on any individual note. You’ll see a red Delete button, which can then be tapped to finalize the note’s deletion. If you change you mind, you can tap anywhere else on the screen, or tap the Cancel button in the upper right-hand corner of the interface.

There are two ways to delete notes in the Notes app

The second way to delete a note, is to do so directly from an individual note. At the bottom of each note rests a trash can icon, which serves as a way to quickly delete an individual note. Once you tap the trash can icon, a confirmation button will slide up from the bottom of the screen so that you can confirm the note’s deletion.

After a note is deleted while in individual note view, you’ll be taken to the next note in your list of notes automatically.

Searching notes

A search input box rests at the top of the note list view. You may have to scroll up to the very top of the list to expose the search box.

Searching is performed on any notes that appear in a specific folder. If you want to search the entire lot of notes that you’ve created, be sure that you are in the All Notes folder before performing a search.

Searching notes

Since notes are nothing but text, searching is fairly straightforward and simple. If a letter, word or phrase is typed in the search box, and that text appears in any of the notes that you have listed, those notes will appear with the corresponding highlighted search terms.

Tapping on a note from the search results list view will show that note and highlight the found search terms with a yellow highlighter. This makes it easy to quickly locate the content that you’re searching for within the note itself.

There doesn’t appear to be any delimiting features available for the Notes app search, and searches can only be performed from the list view, not while viewing an individual note.

Sharing Notes

Like most of the other sharing options in iOS 7, sharing can be accomplished view the Share button residing inside the Notes app. The Share button appears in the individual note view on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

Sharing notes

Tapping the share button will invoke the communal share sheet, which will allow you to share notes via AirDrop, Messages, or Mail. You can also copy or print the entirety of a note directly from the share sheet.

Syncing Notes

To sync notes between multiple devices, you can use a standard iCloud account, and enable Notes syncing in the iCloud preferences; or you can use a service like Gmail.

Syncing notes via the Settings app

Any iOS device that you enable Notes syncing for, whether it be an iPod touch, and iPad, or an iPhone, will receive and sync changes to any notes that you make on any device. This makes it easy to start taking notes on one device, and continue right where you left off on another device.

Changing the default account

There’s a preference panel for the Notes app inside of the stock Settings app, but it’s quite barren. In fact, the only setting that you’ll find inside of the Notes app’s preferences, is a setting for establishing a default account.

If you don’t have any iCloud, Gmail, etc. accounts on your device with Notes syncing enabled, then the only option that you’ll find here is the On My iPhone setting. This means that all notes are stored only on the device’s memory, and won’t sync between other iOS devices.

You can establish a default account/folder for new notes

If you have additional accounts established, then you can go here to setup a default account for iCloud, or for Gmail, or any other service that allows for Notes syncing.

The default account is the account that the Notes app will use when creating Notes via Siri, or when creating a note from the All Notes folder. If you’d like to specify where a note is created, remember that you can always switch to a specific folder before proceeding with note creation.

Siri

There are several commands that can be used with Siri to create, display, and search notes. Here is a list of them:

Note that I spent $15 on lunch

Note to self: check out that new Lady Gaga song

Find my school notes

Add ‘tour the Louvre’ to my Paris vacation note

Show my notes from May 27th

Read my note about post ideas

If you say add an item to your such-and-such note, Siri is smart enough to search the contents of your notes, and find instances of the word that you stated as a qualifier. It will then append your new data to the note that it found.

Spotlight

Like virtually every other area of iOS, Notes can be searched and opened using iOS’ built-in Spotlight search. To invoke Spotlight, use a slide down gesture while on a Home screen page. You can then type any of the text from the note that you’re searching for, and iOS will find it.

Searching for notes is easy with Spotlight

Conclusion

The stock Notes app is simple, but it’s fast and highly efficient. It integrates nicely with Siri, and it makes jotting down quick ideas and thoughts a seamless task.

No, the stock Notes app definitely isn’t as feature rich as other note-taking apps available on the App Store. One could argue that the app has actually regressed since it’s pre-iOS 7 days, because you can no longer customize setting for fonts. But the Notes app is made to do one thing, and one thing well: allow the user to create quick notes on a whim.

For this reason, despite the app’s simplicity, the Notes app is my go-to application when I need to quickly notate a thought or idea. It syncs easily across iOS devices, and even syncs to the Mac. If you’ve been neglecting this app, you should definitely take it for a spin. You might just like what you find.

A Button Mapper Is The First App I Install On Any Android Tv

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I started using Android TV devices with the 2023 NVIDIA Shield, but I have never found myself with as many options inside my home as I do today. My TV itself — the Xiaomi TV P1 43-inch — as well as my local French TV provider’s set-top box both run the platform. So does the Chromecast with Google TV stick that I had bought before those two, and the Android TV projector I’ve installed in my kitchen. If you think getting used to one remote is bad enough, try four. In the middle of this madness, one app has kept me sane, and it’s the same one I’ve been installing on all of my Android TV devices since 2023: Button Mapper.

Why remap those buttons?

David Imel / Android Authority

Every remote you get is built differently. Some, like the one for the Chromecast with Google TV, are minimalistic enough to only include the essential buttons. Others, like the ones for my TV and set-top box, add dozens of other keys.

The issue that arises, besides the confusing embarrassment of riches that I currently have, is that not every remote will be optimized for you. Your usage, your preferred apps, your favorite layout. Most remotes have hardcoded buttons for apps you’ll never use. For me, this is Netflix; for you, it could be Prime Video or Hulu. Some remotes also put buttons that you can’t use, like that futile (in my region) Mi Patchwall button on my TV’s remote.

Don’t touch these buttons

The omnipresent Google Assistant button is usually not worth touching. You can do it, but on nine devices out of ten, the functionality seems to be hardcoded and no amount of remapping or goodwill works. The remote will start a voice search and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The power button, D-pad, and volume buttons are big no-nos in my book. I don’t dare touch them because they’re crucial to the way Android TV works. I wouldn’t want to have to dig out a USB keyboard and mouse to get myself out of a jam if I messed those up.

Don’t change the power button, D-pad, or volume buttons, because they’re crucial to the way Android TV works.

I also don’t change the Home and Back buttons’ single press purpose — they’re just as essential. But long presses on those are fair game, and I often assign them to go into the TV’s settings or take a screenshot. I’ve never had any problem with this on any device so far, but keep in mind that Google might assign them crucial functionality in future Android TV versions.

Customize these buttons instead

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

That usually leaves the input, mute, different streaming services, and any extra button your Android TV maker decided to include. Depending on your usage, those could be dispensable, and you can reassign them to any app or functionality without breaking anything. (There’s an exception with the Chromecast with Google TV’s Netflix and YouTube buttons that are less flexible, but otherwise, feel free to play around.)

The input, mute, and different streaming services’ buttons are often fair game, and you can easily reassign them to any app.

My personal go-to tricks are to remap any hardcoded Netflix buttons to Plex, and add a double-press to YouTube that opens Spotify. Long-presses get assigned to whatever streaming app I’m using most at the moment. I also like adding the often missing play/pause role to any unneeded buttons — like that Mi Patchwall launcher button on my TV.

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

After all of this is set up, I start monitoring my usage of the remote. If I find that I’m getting confused between two buttons, or if there’s one that I often press by mistake, then I’ll fix or reassign the functionality. That keeps me sane and avoids any unnecessary waste of time. You don’t want accidental touches to frequently interrupt your entertainment session.

Do you remap your Android TV’s remote buttons?

687 votes

Besides Android TV, Button Mapper also works on phones. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the apps we recommend Samsung owners use to remap the Bixby button. But since most other Android phones don’t have any superfluous keys, the app is a lot more useful on Android TV. It has quickly become my default set it and forget it utility on the platform.

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