/posts/ 2024/why-is-setting-up-an-apple-tv-so-painful

Why Is Setting Up an Apple TV So Painful?

Apr 14, 2024


We’re an Apple household, phones, watches, laptops, iPads, TVs, everything.

My in-laws are not.

They’ve been suffering with a terrible Amazon Fire Stick for a while, Amazon is obsessed with chewing more and more of the screen real estate with their view on how people want to browse TV shows, almost to the point of being outright hostile. With their ever-increasing age, their small 32" TV, the 10-foot UI has disappeared for Amazon and it has become nearly unreadable for them.

For all their problems, the Apple TV is a good user experience in comparison, a simple overview for application and generally a decent UX for people who just want to watch TV. Our existing Apple TV is getting a little long in the tooth, and while it is still supported and fast enough for us we decided to upgrade ours to the ’latest gen’ (newer processor only) and hand down our old one to the in-laws. As a happy coincidence, we had a stack of gift cards from our previous trade-ins at Apple and were able to pick up the new Apple TV 4K Gen 3 for £53.

As I said, they’re not Apple ecosystem users, so when I reset the existing Apple TV I attempted to configure it up for a new Apple ID, and oh boy what problems I had. I don’t really have the energy to explain every step so here it is in bullet point form.

Creating an Apple ID

Using the Apple ID

Joining a family account

Sharing Photos

After a few hours of banging my head against the wall, I finally got there. How do Apple expect anyone to onboard with an Apple TV only? Did I do something stupidly wrong? By attempting to create the account first, did I break their onboarding flow?