A viral tweet today highlights a somewhat frustrating limitation with the Apple TV software. According to a recent software update, tvOS expects users to have access to an iPhone or iPad to do things like accept the new iCloud terms and conditions, or update their Apple ID settings.
Although most people using an Apple TV 4K box are deeply tied into the Apple ecosystem, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Until recently, the Apple TV could essentially be used independently. It was supposed to be a standalone device, not an accessory. not anymore. In addition, these changes mean that Apple TV users who have Macs — but no personal iOS devices — are also left in the lurch.
Most Apple TVs can be used without needing access to other Apple hardware. You can set up Apple TV from scratch, install apps, and make purchases completely independently. If occasionally necessary, specific Apple ID management tasks can be performed from a web browser on a PC.
However, there are some tasks — more prevalent than ever in tvOS 16 — that the Apple TV expects you to do on an iOS device signed in with the same account.
it Viral tweet by @hugelgupf Perhaps the most glaring example shows: Requiring iOS devices to accept the new iCloud terms and conditions.
Instead of allowing users to read and accept the new terms on the Apple TV on the TV itself, Box says you’ll need to use an iOS device to do so. Specifically, an iOS device running iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 or later.
In addition to alienating people who don’t own another Apple device, the minimum OS requirement means any new Apple TV but older-generation iPads, for example, are also stranded.
A similar prompt may appear to customers requesting ‘Update Apple ID Settings’ by holding their iPhone up to the Apple TV.
In either case, these signals can be temporarily dismissed. But they tend to recur again and again unless they are treated. Some system features may not be available until they are resolved. Still, if you don’t have an iPhone or iPad—which can run the latest OS versions—there’s no way to do this.
Based on these constraints, the Apple TV can no longer be considered a standalone device, even though non-zero percent of people have used it as such for many years.
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