Apple TV 4K gets seriously useful upgrade — it’s now a travel essential

The Apple TV 4K (2021) and the new Siri remote
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple has just rolled out its latest tvOS 15.4 update, and among the smaller fixes and software improvements is a seriously useful upgrade that makes the Apple TV 4K a real travel essential. 

It’s now significantly easier to connect an Apple TV 4K (or Apple TV HD) to a Wi-Fi network that requires additional sign-in steps. It’s not uncommon for a Wi-Fi network in a hotel or college dorm to require users to complete a form or sign into an account before internet access is granted. The Apple TV 4K previously made connecting to these types of Wi-Fi networks a chore, but not any longer. 

Once you’ve downloaded the latest tvOS update, you will be able to use an iPhone to quickly get your streaming device online. If you're attempting to connect to a Wi-Fi network that requires additional sign-in steps, just quickly pull out your smartphone and you can be online with just a few taps.

Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV sticks have offered this functionality for a while, so it’s pleasing to see Apple finally getting up to speed. To access this feature, you’ll need to make sure your Apple TV device is up to date. This can easily be done by heading to the settings menu and searching for updates. 

Unfortunately, there is a slight caveat to this upgrade: you need an iPhone to hand; you cannot use an Android device to quickly get an Apple TV 4K online. This limitation is disappointing, especially when you consider Roku and Amazon don’t lock this feature to any specific mobile operating system, but it’s hardly an unexpected move from Apple. 

This upgrade may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a seriously useful improvement if you regularly take your Apple TV 4K on the road. It also solidifies the device's position on our ranking of the best streaming devices

This isn’t the only Roku/Fire TV feature we’d like to see the Apple TV 4K copy either. One of our writers passionately believes it’s time for Apple to re-introduce the home button to its Siri remote. But since it's not there, we've got the one Apple TV trick everyone needs to know to try and fix that.

In other streaming news, the digital Spider-Man: No Way Home has a hidden bonus feature you shouldn't miss out on. Meanwhile, NBC's canceled another show and HBO Max offers hope for fan favorites — including Mare of Easttown's return. Oh, and in the Disney side of things? Disney Plus revealed the Ms. Marvel release date and first trailer that teases changes to her comic origins.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.