Apple TVs come with a lightning cable inside their boxes.
And this can be quite confusing.
After all, the hardware of the Apple TV doesn’t have any lightning or USB port.
But rest assured, you’ll know what it’s for by the end of this article.
Continue reading to discover:
- Which Apple devices use lightning connectors.
- Why this cable is necessary to use your Apple TV.
- The 3 reasons why your Apple TV comes with a lightning cable.
- And this is just the beginning…
Why does Apple TV come with a lightning cable? 3 reasons
#1: It’s for charging your Apple TV remote
This comes as a surprise to most people…
But Apple TV remotes (aka Siri remotes) are actually rechargeable.
They don’t have replaceable batteries like the controllers from these brands do:
On top of that, other streaming devices also don’t have rechargeable remotes.
So you can say that Apple made a unique controller for their Apple TV.
With that said, you can use the lightning cable inside your device’s box to charge its remote.
“Do I have to charge my Apple TV’s controller daily?”
No, you don’t.
See, unlike Apple mobile devices like iPhones and iPads…
You only need to charge this remote a couple of times each year.
And to give you an example, the last time I fully charged my Apple TV remote…
Its battery lasted for a little over 3 months.
But of course, the exact duration of your remote’s battery depends on how often you use it.
And if you want to see how you can charge this controller, watch this short clip:
“How long does it take to charge an Apple TV remote fully?”
If you’re using the original lightning cable that came with your streaming device…
It’ll only take 2-3 hours to charge your Siri remote.
However, it can take longer if you use charging cables that Apple doesn’t make.
Now, it’s worth noting, though, that Siri controllers don’t have light indicators. This means you won’t know whether your Apple TV remote is charging just by simply looking at it.
That said, many of my friends asked me when they first got this streaming device:
“How do I know if my Apple TV is fully charged?”
And if you have the same question, just follow these…
Steps to check your Siri remote’s battery level:
Step 1: Turn ON your Apple TV
Connect your streaming device to its power source.
And turn it ON using its remote.
Note: Apple TVs don’t have power buttons on their main unit.
Step 2: Go to its Settings app
On your Apple TV home screen…
Click the Settings app’s tile.
After doing so…
Step 3: Select Remote and Devices
This is in the middle section of the list.
And it’s right above Accessibility.
Step 4: Find the Remote option
You’ll see a battery icon on the right side of this selection.
That said, if your Apple remote is currently charging…
This icon will have a lightning bolt logo in the middle. Similar to what the battery symbol on iPhones looks like when they’re also connected to power.
But if your remote isn’t charging…
The bar inside the icon will roughly represent your controller’s battery percentage.
“Can I check the exact value of my remote’s remaining power level?”
Yes, you can. Just proceed to…
Step 5: Tap Remote
Select the option you’ve observed in the previous step.
And find the Battery Level from the list on the new page that appears. On its right side, you’ll see a percentage level. And that’s the exact charge remaining on your Siri remote.
“When should I change the batteries on my remote?”
The easiest answer is you don’t need to. And really, you can’t.
So really, if your Siri remote stops working or won’t turn ON…
You should contact Apple support for assistance. Or you can just buy an Apple TV remote replacement online. You can also get 1 from your local Apple stores.
You may also wonder: Can I connect my Apple TV to WiFi without a remote?
#2: You can use it to charge your mobile device
I like Apple products.
And really, there are a lot of reasons why I do.
But there’s 1 aspect that stands out from the list, and that’s the fact that…
All Apple devices integrate well with each other.
See, the lightning cable with your Apple TV also supports this idea.
That’s because on top of being able to use it to charge your Siri remote…
You can also use it to charge Apple mobile devices like your iPhone or iPad.
And if you’re thinking…
“Will Apple TV’s lightning cable charge my iPhone slower?”
No, it won’t.
That’s because the lightning cables included with iPhones and Apple TVs are the same.
Now, you might think that iPhones aren’t related to Apple TVs…
But that’s not necessarily true.
Because as I said before, Apple devices are good at connecting and communicating with each other.
See, with the help of AirPlay…
You can stream videos from your Apple mobile devices on your Apple TV with just a tap on the screen.
And if you’re wondering how to do this, here’s how you can…
Stream from your iPhone to your Apple TV with the help of AirPlay:
Step 1: Turn ON your Apple TV
You won’t find it on the list of available devices later if it’s OFF.
Step 2: Ensure that your devices are using the same network
Your phone will communicate to your Apple TV through WiFi.
That said, if your devices aren’t using the same network…
This setup won’t work.
Step 3: Find a video you want to play on your phone
This can be a saved file on your mobile device.
Or you can also stream movies from streaming apps like Netflix.
Either way, just ensure that the video is playing on your iPhone’s fullscreen and proceed to…
Step 4: Tap the AirPlay icon
This looks like a rectangle with a small triangle at the bottom.
Bear in mind, however, that you won’t immediately find this icon on some apps.
For example, if you’re watching a video on the Photos application…
You’d need to tap the Share icon before you can select AirPlay.
Step 5: Tap the name of your Apple TV
You’ll see all the AirPlay/Cast compatible devices near you.
So from this list, simply select your Apple TV.
After doing so, the video on your iPhone will automatically play on the bigger screen.
You might also want to know: Is Apple TV Worth It? 7 Pros And Cons
#3: Use it to charge your AirPods
Apple TV lets you listen to the audio of your movies privately.
And the easiest way to do so is by using AirPods.
That said, 1 of the purposes of the lightning cable on your Apple TV kit is to charge these wireless earphones.
That’s because AirPods also need lightning cables to charge like iPhones and Apple TVs do.
So if you want to use them for your Apple streaming device…
You can first charge your AirPods using your Apple TV’s lightning cable.
Then you can proceed to…
Pair your Airpods with your Apple TV:
- Turn your Apple TV ON.
- Open the lid of your AirPods’ case.
- Go to the home screen of your streaming device.
- Press and hold the Play/Pause button on your Siri remote.
- Let go when a new window appears.
- Select your AirPods from the list.
Now, if the Apple TV you’re trying to pair to is using a different iCloud account…
Then follow the steps below instead.
Connect your AirPods to somebody else’s Apple TV:
- Flip your AirPods’ case lid.
- Press and hold the pairing button of your AirPods’ case.
- Let go when its light flashes white.
- Turn ON your Apple TV.
- Head to the Settings application.
- From the list, tap Remotes and Devices.
- Select Bluetooth.
- Tap the name of your Airpods.
- Click Connect Device.
“Can I use other wireless earphones instead of AirPods?”
Yes, you can.
And if you want to use other Bluetooth in-ears…
I highly recommend using Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds for your Apple TV.
That’s because Apple also owns the brand Beats.
And conveniently, these earbuds also use lightning cables to charge.
With that said, if you want to try this setup out…
Here’s how you can connect Powerbeats Pro earbuds to your Apple TV:
- Turn ON your Apple TV.
- Put your earbuds in pairing mode.
- Press and hold the TV button on your Apple TV remote.
- Let go when you see the Control Center.
- Select the AirPlay 2 icon.
- Head to Headphones.
- Select your Powerbeats Pro’s name from the list.
Fun fact: You can simultaneously connect 2 wireless ear/headphones with your Apple TV.