How to use Siri for hands-free Apple TV control

Siri has always been one of the Apple TV’s best features. On a fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, the voice assistant can quickly launch videos, tune to live TV channels, and provide search results for specific genres.

But until recently, Apple didn’t offer a hands-free way to use Siri on an Apple TV, like Amazon offers with Fire TV and Alexa, or like Google offers with Chromecast, Android TV, and Google Assistant. If you wanted to control the Apple TV, you had to reach for the remote.

That changed with iOS 12.2, which lets you use hands-free Siri voice commands through an iPhone or iPad. Once it’s all set up, you can say things like “Hey Siri, tune to ESPN on Apple TV,” or “Hey Siri, watch Game of Thrones season eight, episode four on the living-room TV,” and Apple will take care of the rest.

Here’s a complete guide to getting situated with hands-free Siri voice commands:

Step 1: Enable “Hey Siri” in iOS

appletvheysiri Jared Newman / IDG

By enabling hands-free Siri on your iPhone or iPad, you can start watching things on Apple TV with just voice commands, even if your device is locked.

To set this up, head to Settings on your iOS device, select “Siri & Search,” and then toggle on “Listen for ‘Hey Siri.’” You’ll need to read several sample commands to teach Siri your voice. Once you’ve done that, make sure “Allow Siri When Locked” is enabled as well.

Repeat this step for any other iPhones or iPads you want to use with the Apple TV.

Step 2: Sign into iCloud on iOS and Apple TV

appletvicloud Jared Newman / IDG

On your iPhone or iPad, head to Settings and look for a “Sign in” option at the top of the screen, and then sign into your iCloud account. If you only see your name instead of a sign-in option, you’re already good to go.

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