Apple TV Remote app pair multiple devices

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
Has anyone tried to pair more than one ATV Remote App (device) with ATV4?
When I pair a second (iPad) then go back to first (iPhone) it goes through pairing procedure again. Back and forth loop. TV OS 9.2.2

According to Apple support, multiple devices are supported: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/ht201664
"You can pair more than one Apple TV Remote app to an Apple TV".
 

tjwilliams25

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2014
316
60
Montana
My wife and I both use the new remote app with our ATV 4 with no problems. Granted, I'm on the tvOS 10 beta right now, so that may be a factor.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
My wife and I both use the new remote app with our ATV 4 with no problems. Granted, I'm on the tvOS 10 beta right now, so that may be a factor.
possibly a factor. Thanks for replying.
Maybe someone else has tried it with the non-beta OS? I tried this countless times. One always unpairs the other.
 

danmart

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2015
1,370
784
Lancs, UK
I've just checked - I can alternate between using the app on my phone and iPad no problems at all. I'm on vanilla releases, up to date with all three products.

So I think you have a problem somewhere; have you tried re-initialising your ATV4? That can cure a lot of gremlins.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
I've just checked - I can alternate between using the app on my phone and iPad no problems at all. I'm on vanilla releases, up to date with all three products.

So I think you have a problem somewhere; have you tried re-initialising your ATV4? That can cure a lot of gremlins.
I made sure not to feed them after midnight!
 
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BSben

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2012
1,085
512
UK
I only use one iOS device as a remote and have to go through the pairing process every single day. It is really annoying
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
What the OP said.

I have two ATV4s + two iPhones, both with the new Remote app. I paired both ATVs with both phones, thinking it was a one time setup... but as it turned out, the pairing has the memory span of Dory.

Either iPhone pushes the other one out, and the ATV reverts to being listed as "Unpaired" on the remote app Devices screen. This is the fastest and most sure-fire way to provoke a spontaneous unpairing. But, it can happen even if just one iOS device is paired, too. Just takes a bit longer. I'll start a movie with the app, and then when I want to pause it 30 minutes later I unlock the phone to press pause, the ATV throws me another damn 4-digit code on the screen for the 20th time that day.

It's not a matter of resetting, restarting, rebooting, re-initializing or any other ******* re-derp operation. The app is broken, just like every 1.0 from Apple these days.
 

webbuzz

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2010
1,573
5,947
Same issue as OP and Anuba. Only one iOS device can be paired with my ATV 4 at a time. All iOS devices running 9.3.4 and tvOS 9.2.2
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
Still no go. Updated all idevices to iOS 10, ATV to tvOS 10 and updated remote app to 1.0.1 (184). Still getting unpair loop.

Anyone else?
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
Same here. Updating to iOS 10 and app version 1.0.1 did nothing to stop the unpairing madness.

I'd like to control my Apple TV from my iOS devices, please. From a single app, not two with partial functionality. Is that too much to ask?

Currently, I can either use the old Remote app, which has perfectly functional pairing that never acted up, and is available in a WatchOS version which can now be launched directly from a watch face as of WatchOS 3. The only cons are that it doesn't offer volume control, Siri or a Home button, and can't be used as a game controller.

Or, I can use the new Apple TV Remote app, with the following awesome offerings:

- Screwed up pairing that randomly unpairs and throws you a new 4-digit code every time you cough, blink or look at the app funny
- Volume control that doesn't work anyway (here's where you have to say "yes of course my brand new TV has HDMI-CEC and yes it's enabled" real quick before some brainiac chimes in with the usual "YAH WELL THE iPHONE DOESN'T HAVE INFRARED, SO THERE! DERP-DE-DERP")
- Siri functionality that I can't use anyway, since the ATV4 refuses to let me to enable Siri in my region unless I also switch the system language to Swedish, which I don't want. I've got all my Macs and iOS devices set to U.S. English, and it works just fine, except on ATV4, where Siri is off limits when the region doesn't match the language. I guess the tvOS designers never considered the possibility of Americans living outside U.S. borders.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
Same here. Updating to iOS 10 and app version 1.0.1 did nothing to stop the unpairing madness.

I'd like to control my Apple TV from my iOS devices, please. From a single app, not two with partial functionality. Is that too much to ask?

Currently, I can either use the old Remote app, which has perfectly functional pairing that never acted up, and is available in a WatchOS version which can now be launched directly from a watch face as of WatchOS 3. The only cons are that it doesn't offer volume control, Siri or a Home button, and can't be used as a game controller.

Or, I can use the new Apple TV Remote app, with the following awesome offerings:

- Screwed up pairing that randomly unpairs and throws you a new 4-digit code every time you cough, blink or look at the app funny
- Volume control that doesn't work anyway (here's where you have to say "yes of course my brand new TV has HDMI-CEC and yes it's enabled" real quick before some brainiac chimes in with the usual "YAH WELL THE iPHONE DOESN'T HAVE INFRARED, SO THERE! DERP-DE-DERP")
- Siri functionality that I can't use anyway, since the ATV4 refuses to let me to enable Siri in my region unless I also switch the system language to Swedish, which I don't want. I've got all my Macs and iOS devices set to U.S. English, and it works just fine, except on ATV4, where Siri is off limits when the region doesn't match the language. I guess the tvOS designers never considered the possibility of Americans living outside U.S. borders.
Thinking about doing a full reset of my ATV. Have you tried?
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
Thinking about doing a full reset of my ATV. Have you tried?
No. Not a big fan of "there was a bubble in the wallpaper so I had to demolish the house" type solutions. I did however experiment a bit with the Remote App settings on the ATV4. What's going on there kinda tells the whole story...

You've got "MY DEVICES" at the top, followed by "PAIRABLE DEVICES" + spinning wheel.
Even with two devices paired, there will never be "devices" plural on the list – only a single device is listed at any given time, and it's always the one you paired with last. Under "Pairable devices" there's never been anything. My iPhones simply don't exist as far as the ATV4 is concerned, until I initiate pairing from either one of them and enter the 4-digit code. It then replaces the sole device listed under MY DEVICES. The one that gets replaced will be deported to some kind of no man's land where it remains connected, and the ATV will keep responding to it, but not for long.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
No. Not a big fan of "there was a bubble in the wallpaper so I had to demolish the house" type solutions. I did however experiment a bit with the Remote App settings on the ATV4. What's going on there kinda tells the whole story...

You've got "MY DEVICES" at the top, followed by "PAIRABLE DEVICES" + spinning wheel.
Even with two devices paired, there will never be "devices" plural on the list – only a single device is listed at any given time, and it's always the one you paired with last. Under "Pairable devices" there's never been anything. My iPhones simply don't exist as far as the ATV4 is concerned, until I initiate pairing from either one of them and enter the 4-digit code. It then replaces the sole device listed under MY DEVICES. The one that gets replaced will be deported to some kind of no man's land where it remains connected, and the ATV will keep responding to it, but not for long.
Exactly what I am getting also.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
New app update today. Version 1.0.2. Maybe a fix?
Will install when I get home and report back.

Edit: nope
 
Last edited:

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
New app update today. Version 1.0.2. Maybe a fix?
Will install when I get home and report back.

Edit: nope
Nope. The Highlander* bug is still there. (*"There can be only one").
My guess is that the fault lies with tvOS, though, in which case no app update can fix this.

I also noticed that since installing tvOS 10, one or both of my ATV4's are reported as "offline" a lot (roughly 50% of the time). The Time Capsule still sees them just fine, but the ATV Remote app shows them as greyed out, and in the iTunes Remote they're simply not shown - I have to wake them up with their respective Siri remotes. Given that nothing has changed, hardware or configuration wise, from back when the ATVs were visible 100% of the time, the big tvOS/iOS update last week is a prime suspect.
 
Last edited:

danmart

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2015
1,370
784
Lancs, UK
Just looked on my ATV after getting back from holiday; I have two apps clearly listed under 'remote app' in the 'Remotes and Devices' section. I'm running the latest non-beta build on my ATV4.
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
I threw in a third iOS device just for kicks... like the previous two (iPhones), it (iPad Mini) breaks any previous remote app pairing on ATV4.

As for the ATV4's being reported as offline a lot, it's limited to the Remote apps (both ATV and iTunes). The ATV's are never missing from the list of available AirPlay devices. I have to wake them up by selecting them for AirPlay in Control Center, then wait a few seconds until the ATV/iTunes Remote app goes 'OMG look, there's an ATV on this network, how come nobody told me before?:eek:'. Then back to AirPlay in CC to change the selection back to the iOS device itself.
 

Snoopy4

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2014
661
2,968
Has anyone tried to pair more than one ATV Remote App (device) with ATV4?
When I pair a second (iPad) then go back to first (iPhone) it goes through pairing procedure again. Back and forth loop. TV OS 9.2.2

According to Apple support, multiple devices are supported: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/ht201664
"You can pair more than one Apple TV Remote app to an Apple TV".
Yep. I have all the iPod touches, iPhones and iPads paired up to all of our ATVs.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
New ATV update... Will report back once installed and tested.

Edit: nope
Also did full reset of my ATV.
 
Last edited:

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
Yeah, the latest iOS/tvOS updates did nothing (again). Remote app pairing still monogamous like swans.

Since this issue appears to be rare enough to not warrant a hotfix or even a regular scheduled fix, I guess those of us who are affected will be stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime I guess we could try to narrow it down by looking at potential similarities in the setups.

The hub of my home network is a 5th gen Time Capsule, firmware 7.7.7. The 2.4 and 5 GHz networks have been given separate names. Two ATV4's are connected to the 5 GHz. So are the two iPhones (5s/6s) I've installed the ATV Remote app on. Latest software all around. Connected to same iCloud account all around. Close to 100% Apple-exclusive ecosystem, save for two Sony TVs and one HP printer/scanner.

Everything behaves exactly as before: Initiate pairing and the ATV4 will display a 4 digit code. Enter code on iPhone. Pairing is established and remains stable until iPhone #2 is paired. Both will work with the ATV as long as the Remote app is open on both screens, but once you quit and relaunch the ATV Remote app on iPhone #1, you'll find that the pairing is history.

Just for kicks I installed the ATV Remote app on my two iPads so that I had 4 devices to try with. As expected, iPhone #1 is kicked out by iPhone #2 which is kicked out by iPad #1 which is kicked out by iPad #2... at no point was I able to make either ATV4 list more than one device under Settings > Remote Devices > Remote App > MY DEVICES. It's always just the one, the last one paired. And there's never been anything displayed under PAIRABLE DEVICES other than a spinning wheel.
 

philMBP

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 19, 2007
366
12
Yeah, the latest iOS/tvOS updates did nothing (again). Remote app pairing still monogamous like swans.

Since this issue appears to be rare enough to not warrant a hotfix or even a regular scheduled fix, I guess those of us who are affected will be stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime I guess we could try to narrow it down by looking at potential similarities in the setups.

The hub of my home network is a 5th gen Time Capsule, firmware 7.7.7. The 2.4 and 5 GHz networks have been given separate names. Two ATV4's are connected to the 5 GHz. So are the two iPhones (5s/6s) I've installed the ATV Remote app on. Latest software all around. Connected to same iCloud account all around. Close to 100% Apple-exclusive ecosystem, save for two Sony TVs and one HP printer/scanner.

Everything behaves exactly as before: Initiate pairing and the ATV4 will display a 4 digit code. Enter code on iPhone. Pairing is established and remains stable until iPhone #2 is paired. Both will work with the ATV as long as the Remote app is open on both screens, but once you quit and relaunch the ATV Remote app on iPhone #1, you'll find that the pairing is history.

Just for kicks I installed the ATV Remote app on my two iPads so that I had 4 devices to try with. As expected, iPhone #1 is kicked out by iPhone #2 which is kicked out by iPad #1 which is kicked out by iPad #2... at no point was I able to make either ATV4 list more than one device under Settings > Remote Devices > Remote App > MY DEVICES. It's always just the one, the last one paired. And there's never been anything displayed under PAIRABLE DEVICES other than a spinning wheel.
I have the same router (5th gen Time Capsule). Exactly same behavior as you explain in your last paragraph:
"It's always just the one, the last one paired. And there's never been anything displayed under PAIRABLE DEVICES other than a spinning wheel."
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
Just wanted to add that 10.0.1 brought one improvement: The ATVs are always shown as available in the ATV Remote app now. It used to be that one or both were frequently greyed out and listed as "offline", and to wake them up you had to use the Siri Remote or initiate an AirPlay connection. That's no longer a thing. Unfortunately this is unrelated to the issue with pairing multiple devices.
 

EmPPgamer

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2014
22
5
Agree there is improvement in terms of device discovery by the remote app. Used to be a real pain having to first wake the ATV4 with the siri remote before the remote app could see it.

The need to CONSTANTLY have to input 4 digit codes when switching between iPhone and iPad is annoying and ridiculous. Even the old remote app was better! Haven't searched yet to try and see how widespread the problem is or what set up people might have that allows them not to have this problem (kinda got tired of searching for solutions to Apple system glitches across multiple devices with software updates etc.).
[doublepost=1479173838][/doublepost]Just found something strange with this. I use an iPhone 5S, a 6 and an iPad. When I look under Pairable Devices I just get a spinning wheel. Never a list.

I just paired the iPhone 5s. Then I switched and used the iPhone 6. NOW, I can interchange both without re-pairing. Both are listed under 'My Devices'. Either listed as Connected or Not Connected. However, when I try the iPad, I have to re-pair it and it kicks the iPhone 6 off the list. But always the 6.

So I wondered if my ATV 4 was now allowing just 2 devices to pair but no. Told it to Forget the iPhone 5S. Re-paired the iPad and it still kicks the iPhone 6 off. So I can pair and keep the iPhone 5s and the 6 or the 5s and the iPad. Just not the iPad and the 6??? Bizarre.

All the devices are on IOS 10.1.1 so it's not that. I've tried numerous ATV 4 resets too. No joy.
 

Anuba

macrumors 68040
Feb 9, 2005
3,743
334
I just paired the iPhone 5s. Then I switched and used the iPhone 6. NOW, I can interchange both without re-pairing. Both are listed under 'My Devices'. Either listed as Connected or Not Connected. However, when I try the iPad, I have to re-pair it and it kicks the iPhone 6 off the list. But always the 6.

So I wondered if my ATV 4 was now allowing just 2 devices to pair but no. Told it to Forget the iPhone 5S. Re-paired the iPad and it still kicks the iPhone 6 off. So I can pair and keep the iPhone 5s and the 6 or the 5s and the iPad. Just not the iPad and the 6??? Bizarre.
Interesting. Can't replicate it though. I have 5s, 6s+, iPad Air (1), iPad mini 3. Tried all possible combos... but "My devices" still refuses to live up to its name and become devices plural.
 
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