The Apple TV Crash Course (2015)
Part Two: The Apple TV Crash Course
Creating an Apple ID and using the iTunes Store
Now that we’ve installed iTunes, the next step is to get an Apple ID. Why do you need an ID? If you plan to buy anything—or even set up sharing—then you need it. If all you want to do is watch Netflix, then you don’t need it, but if all you want to do is watch Netflix, then you are better off with another device!
If you already have an Apple ID (even if you don’t have iTunes on a computer, you probably have an ID if you have an iPhone or iPad), then skip this section.
To get started with the iTunes Store, go ahead and click the ‘iTunes Store’ button on the upper right hand side of the program. Once you do, the interface will look something like this:
In the upper left-hand corner of the screen, you’ll now find a button labeled ‘Sign In’. Tap it to begin the account creation process. You’ll be greeted with a pop-up screen that looks like this:
If you’ve already got an Apple ID, great. Just sign in and you’re done. For those who don’t, however, click the button on the bottom left that’s labeled ‘Create Apple ID’. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken back to the main window of the iTunes 12 program, which will now look like this:
*In previous versions of iTunes, all of these various screens that appear within the main window were actually separate things. This new emphasis on ‘unification’ makes things a lot simpler than in previous iterations. Lucky us!
Click ‘Continue’ to begin the process of creating an Apple ID. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be presented with yet another ‘Terms and Conditions’ page that you’ll have to agree to. Check the box labeled ‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions’ and click ‘Continue’ again.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be greeted with a page full of details to fill out, including an email address, a password, and answers to a few ‘security questions’ in case you ever get locked out of your account. This is mostly like anything else you’ve ever signed up for online, with one major exception: the password requirements are a little bit, shall we say, strict. It took us a few tries to land on a password that Apple approved of. In fact, here’s their list of rules for the initial password you create:
In short, Apple really cares about the security of your account. Once you’ve created your bulletproof password and entered in the rest of the information, click ‘Continue’ to be taken to the payment method page. Enter your credit card (or PayPal) information and your billing address, and click ‘Create Apple ID’ to finish the process.
Once that’s done, you’ll be automatically logged into your iTunes account. You’ll see your account ID in the left hand corner of the screen:
Click here at any time to look at (or edit) your account details, sign out, or redeem iTunes gift cards.
Using Your Apple ID with Apple TV
Now that you have an Apple TV, let’s get it added into the Apple TV.
To begin using your Apple ID with Apple TV, go to the settings icon on your home screen and then press select. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be greeted with the same settings menu we discussed earlier. From there, head to the menu item labeled ‘iTunes Store’ and press select.
From there, you’ll be presented with a series of login screens. Enter the email address you used to create your Apple ID on the first screen, then your password on the second:
It’s worth noting here that if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can go to the app store and download an app that let’s you control your Apple TV from your iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth. Why would you want to do that? One reason is the iPad and iPhone have a keyboard, which makes menus like this much easier to manage. If you’d like to download it, search the app store for Remote—it’s the one published by Apple and it’s free. It should be the first match.
Once you’ve added everything, you get to decide if the Apple TV will remember your password when making purchases, or if you’d rather enter it every time. Tread carefully on this one – it’s really easy to buy things on the Apple TV, so if you have young children, or even full-grown adults and you don’t want to be charged for several purchases, then it might be best not to remember the password. But typing in a password is also a bit of a pain, so don’t take the extra step unless you need to.