Two mysteriously magical things from the Apple TV install

A lot has been written criticizing the new Apple TV. Chief among these were the limitations of the on-screen keyboard, the lack of an iOS app letting you use the keyboard from your iOS device to do your typing, and the inability to link a Bluetooth keyboard for that same purpose.

Fair points, all.

Yesterday, I got my Apple TV in the mail. My installation experience was great. Yes, I would have preferred a faster way of typing, but the whole installation took me about 10 minutes, including the time it took me to download apps for Netflix and HBO Go, and setup/login to both services.

One of the first things I did once I had control of the interface was disable password prompts for free and paid app downloads. I strongly recommend this approach. It will save you lots of typing. And, once you’ve got your Apple TV set up the way you like it, you can always re-enable password requirements as you like.

OK, on to the magic part.

The first bit of finery was when I noticed that I never typed in my WiFi password. Apple TV used my iOS device to do its initial setup, asking me to enable Bluetooth on my iOS device and place it near the Apple TV (my spot on the couch was close enough). Somehow, in all that setup, my WiFi password (which is a wicked-long series of random characters) was entered for me. Magic that I appreciated.

I didnt recognize the second bit of magic until long after the install was finished. Though I never did a thing to enable this, my Apple TV remote volume controls worked on my TV. I’ve heard a number of different explanations as to how this was possible (some IR magic, or a protocol embedded in the HDMI connection), but it doesn’t matter. It just worked. More magic.

So, I hear the thing about the keyboard, and I absolutely see the value in fixing things so we have a faster way of typing, but I have to say, the Apple TV install was a home run for me.