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How to get a Web Browser on Apple TV | 2023

How to get a Web Browser on Apple TV | 2023

Need a Web browser on Apple TV? We did some research on this topic and found that  with the increasing popularity of streaming services, more and more users are turning to Apple TV to access content on-demand.

Not only does Apple TV provide an intuitive, high quality streaming experience that fits into the apple ecosystem (ex. iPhone can be used as a remote or keyboard), but it also has a few unique workaround methods to use a web browser on it.

Related: How to Get a Internet Browser on Roku

This article will discuss the various methods you can use to install & use a web browser on your Apple TV. It will explore different options, their advantages, disadvantages, and even some alternatives (safari).

Is There A Web Browser On Apple TV?

Is There A Web Browser On Apple TV

No, Apple TV does not come with a built-in web browser such as Safari or Google Chrome. However, there are a few workarounds available to access the web on your Apple TV.

Related: Best Apple TV & Apple TV 4K Alternatives

The available ways to use an internet browser on Apple TV goes as follows:

  • Surf the web via Airplay.
  • Use Air Browser (Cast)
  • Use a Mac browser (on Apple TV)
  • Use tvOS Browser (real browser) to surf the web on your Apple TV

We will discuss each of the above methods in this post so you can browse the web on your Apple TV.

Unfortunately, you cannot (directly) download an app version of Safari or Google Chrome to browse the internet on your Apple TV, but In the following section, we will discuss the available ways to get a browser and how to use them..

Related: 9 Best Streaming Devices with a Web Browser

1. Surf the web on your Apple TV using AirPlay

Surf the web on your Apple TV using AirPlay

Browsing the internet on your Apple TV is an excellent way to enjoy content on a larger screen. By using AirPlay, you can effortlessly stream and display the content from your iPhone or iPad on your TV.

Whether you’re hosting a party and want to showcase music videos or other content on a bigger screen, or you want to share a funny or interesting article with a group of people, you can easily display it on your TV for everyone to enjoy.

Related: How to get a Web Browser on Nvidia shield

Here’s how to surf the web on Apple TV using Airplay:

  1. Ensure your Apple TV and iPhone or iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to the “Control Center” on your iPhone (same area where you adjust brightness by pulling down at the top right), tap the “Screen Mirroring” icon, and select your “Apple TV” from the selection.
  3. If there’s an AirPlay passcode, enter it on your mobile device to connect.
  4. Once connected, web content on your mobile device will be displayed on the bigger screen of the Apple TV. You can browse the internet through Safari, and any typing can be done using the on-screen keyboard on your iPhone or iPad.
  5. To stop mirroring, reopen the “Control Center” and tap “Stop Mirroring,” or press the “Menu” button on your Apple TV.

Overall, AirPlay makes it simple and convenient to surf the web on your Apple TV. With just a few taps, you can enjoy all the content you love on a bigger screen.

Related: How to use Google Chrome on Roku & Roku TV

2. Use Air Browser to cast your iPhone screen to Apple TV

Use Air Browser to cast your iPhone screen to Apple TV

If you’re looking for a fast and efficient way to connect your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV wirelessly, Air Browser is a great option. It supports gesture control, pinch and zoom, and features like bookmarking and multiple tabs.

Air Browser allows you to employ the touch feature on your iOS device as a pointer on Apple TV, providing an identical browsing experience as an Apple TV web browser.

Related: Streaming Device Comparison Charts & Tables (Visual Guide)

For example, if you’re presenting to a group and want to show content from your iPhone or iPad on a bigger screen, you can use Air Browser.

Here’s how you can use Air Browser for casting:

  1. Open the Air Browser app and click “Connect Second Screen.”
  2. Use the on-screen instructions. Tap “Screen Mirroring” in the “Control Center.”
  3. Now, choose your Apple TV device, and start browsing on your iPhone or iPad. All the content will be displayed on your Apple TV, giving you a bigger screen to view it on.

In conclusion, Air Browser is an efficient way to cast your iPhone or iPad screen on your Apple TV. With support for gesture control, multiple tabs, and more, you can enjoy a seamless browsing experience on a bigger screen.

Related: Does a Smart TV work without internet?

3. How to use a Mac browser on Apple TV

How to use a Mac browser on Apple TV

You can also use a Mac browser on your Apple TV with AirPlay. This lets you stream the activities of your Mac directly to your Apple TV, giving you a larger screen to view your web browsing.

For example, if you’re giving a presentation or a lecture, you can use the larger screen of your Apple TV to display your web browsing.

Related: Best Streaming Devices for Smart TVs

Here’s how you can use your Macbook to enable web browsing on Apple TV:

  1. Select the “Control Center” icon adjacent to the clock in your menu bar.
  2. Tap on “Screen Mirroring” and wait for your Mac to find the available devices.
  3. Click on the name of your Apple TV and enter an AirPlay code if needed.
  4. Once connected, you can use the web browser on your Mac as usual, but with the content being displayed on your Apple TV.

Overall, using a Mac browser on your Apple TV is a great way to enjoy a bigger view of your web browsing. With AirPlay, it’s easy to stream the activities of your Mac to your Apple TV, giving you a seamless browsing experience on a larger screen.

Also see: How Often Should I Shut Down my MacBook?

4. How to use tvOS Browser to surf the web on your Apple TV

Using tvOSBrowser to surf the web on your Apple TV

While you can use AirPlay to screen cast and surf the web on your Apple TV, but AirPlay isn’t always compatible with all websites and streaming apps. Luckily, there’s a third- party web browser called tvOSBrowser you can use instead.

Say you’re hosting a movie night with friends and want to glance up some information about the film you’re watching. You can easily do so with tvOSBrowser. Or if you wish to follow along with recipes while cooking, you can pull up your favorite cooking websites on your TV without having to squint at your phone or laptop screen.

Here’s how you can install the tvOSBrowser:

  1. Download “Xcode” from the Mac App Store and use a USB-C cable to link your Apple TV to your Mac.
  2. Now, head to https://github.com/jvanakker/tvOSBrowser on your Mac and unzip the file.
  3. Next, open the tvOSBrowser-master folder and navigate to the Project folder, to open the Browser.xcodeproj file.
  4. Click on “Code” and select “Download ZIP.”
  5. Now, change the Deployment Target to 14.0 and set a custom Bundle Identifier name, like “com.yourname.tvbrowser.” Then, click on “Signing and Capabilities” and change the Team to “Personal Team.”
  6. Finally, select your Apple TV as the Target Device from the top-down menu and click the play button to begin the installation process.

Overall, tvOSBrowser is a great tool for anyone who wants to browse the web from the comfort of their couch. With just a few simple steps, you can install the browser and start exploring the internet on your Apple TV.

Also see: How to Cancel AppleCare+ (Get a Refund)

Side loading the tvOS Browser (Apple TV)

Although the tvOS Browser app hasn’t received the updates for the latest version with Siri Remote, you can still control the browser using the touch area or center button of the remote.

Side loading a tvOS browser on your Apple TV can be useful in a variety of situations. For example, if you want to access websites that aren’t available on other Apple TV apps, or if you would like to have a more full-featured browsing experience on your TV.

Once you have the tvOS browser installed, you can control it in two different modes.

  1. Pressing the center button twice will alternate between the scroll and cursor modes. By tapping once, you can access the “Quick Menu.” Here, you can insert URLs, make a Google Search, refresh webpages or go to the previous page.
  2. Tapping the center area twice unveils an advanced segment where you can view your browsing history, access preferred websites, clear cookies, and perform additional actions.

Tip: Clear the browser’s cache occasionally to prevent it from slowing down.

Overall, side loading a tvOS browser may take a little extra effort, but it can be a valuable addition to your Apple TV setup.

Why Is Web Browsing so complex on streaming devices?

Web browsing is a complex task for streaming devices mainly because they were not designed primarily for this purpose.

Since updating the security on streaming devices requires extensive work, it places a significant responsibility on the manufacturers to ensure the safety of their users (and the security of the device).

Additionally, the lack of a physical keyboard makes the process even more challenging, although some Android boxes do allow for this – it requires the user to enter information and navigate websites using a Apple remote, which is no where near as intuitive or efficient as typing on a physical keyboard.

Related: 12 Best Roku Web Browsers

Given these limitations, alternatives such as casting are often more straightforward and convenient for users.

Disadvantages of Apple TV Web Browsers

Apple TV does not come with a built-in web browser, and using third-party browsers may have some limitations. The user interface may not be optimized for a TV screen, and entering text using the remote can be cumbersome.

Additionally, many websites may not be optimized for TV screens, resulting in poor image quality or formatting issues. Finally, since the device is not designed primarily for web browsing, users may experience performance issues when accessing some websites.

Different Types of Apple TV Browsers

Apple TV does not have a built-in web browser, but there are some third-party options available. One popular option is the AirBrowser app, which allows users to browse the web using their iPhone or iPad and display the content on their TV.

Another option is to use an Android TV Box with a built-in web browser, such as the Nvidia Shield or Mi Box S. Finally, some users have reported success with sideloading web browsers onto their Apple TV using third-party tools, although this method is not officially supported by Apple and may not work for all users.

FAQ

Can I use Safari on Apple TV?

No, you can’t use Safari on your Apple TV. Unlike on other Apple devices, Safari isn’t installed by default on Apple TV and there’s no straightforward way to add it.

But you can still access Safari on your TV by using AirPlay to mirror the screen from another Apple device, such as an iPhone or iPad, or from a Mac computer. While Safari isn’t directly available on Apple TV, there are workarounds that can allow you to browse the web on your television.

Also see: 7 Best Mousepads for Apple’s Magic Mouse

Is Google Chrome Compatible With Apple TV?

You can’t use Google Chrome as a built-in web browser on Apple TV. Apple TV is not designed to work with a web browser, and the company prefers users to cast and stream content via AirPlay.

But if you still want to use Google Chrome with your TV, you can do so through Google’s own Chromecast device, which allows you to cast content from the Chrome browser on your phone or computer to your TV.

Will Apple be releasing a Web browser on the Apple TV?

After removing Safari from a prior version, it is unlikely Apple will introduce an authorized web browser for Apple TV. This is because it’s difficult to use, and the Apple TV remote isn’t suitable for entering long strings of characters.

Although you can use your iPhone or iPad for this purpose, it defeats the purpose of using the Apple TV alone. Instead, the best option is to use AirPlay or a similar tool to browse the internet on your TV while using your iPhone, iPad, or Mac for typing.

Are there any apps for Apple TV that are native web browsers?

Apple TV doesn’t have any native web browsers available in the App Store. This is because Apple designed the device to work seamlessly with other Apple products like iPhones and iPads, which can connect and cast content to the TV.

While it’s technically possible for Apple TV to run a web browser, it’s not a priority for Apple, as they encourage users to enjoy content through their curated app ecosystem. If you’re looking to browse the web on your TV, you’ll need to look for alternative solutions.

Bottom Line

There are 4 different methods of getting a web browser on Apple TV, since the native browser (like safari or chrome) does not exist and is not available for download.

AirPlay allows users to access the web on their Apple TV by mirroring content from their iOS devices. – AirBrowser and Mac browsers are alternatives for streaming content from mobile devices and computers to an Apple TV.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ