How can I watch BBC iPlayer using my Apple TV?

Update: December 2015The blog post below refers to the second and third generation Apple TV.  The 4th generation Apple TV launched in September 2015 has it’s own App Store. In early December 2015 the BBC launched their own native Apple TV 4 BBC iPlayer App. You can simply download and use this from the Apple TV App Store.  At this time there is no mention of this being ported back to the earlier Apple TV devices and this doesn’t seem likely. If you are still using one of the earlier Apple TV units then the blog post below will still work very well. 

 

It’s really easy to use BBC iPlayer with the second generation Apple TV but to do it you’ll need an iPhone or iPod Touch.  Just download the BBC iPlayer App free of charge from the Apple App Store.  It’s a really great App. I really like the favourites function so you can mark the programmes you are interested in so that you can quickly get to them through the favourites menu.  Check you’ve got the latest version of the BBC iPlayer application installed.  To do this just find the App Store icon on your iPhone and make sure there are no pending updates.

How to use BBC iPlayer with Apple TV

 

When you start to play a programme you should then see the Apple Air Play icon on the bottom right of the display as shown above.  Just press this and then select your Apple TV device from the list.  If you don’t see your Apple TV device in the list then do a quick restart on the Apple TV.  For some reason mine seems to drop off the network when it goes into power save mode.  To do a restart go to the General menu on the Apple TV, scroll down to the bottom of that menu and select restart.  If you then try the Air Play icon again you should see your Apple TV device and a few moments later the programme will start to play through your TV.  At this point you can press the off switch on your iPhone to save the battery and you can control iPlayer using the Apple TV remote control.

For me this works brilliantly and we use it all the time now to watch iPlayer in our sitting room.  It would still be great if one day the BBC and Apple could cooperate to bring iPlayer directly onto the Apple TV but for now this is nearly as good.


IPhone voice control starts randomly when listening to music and audiobooks.

I’ve had a few people now ask me about this problem.  It seems to affect almost all models of iPhone and iPod.  The problem is basically that while you are listening to music or an audiobook the iPhone randomly and without warning jumps into voice control.

I’m 99.99% certain that this isn’t a software problem and as far as I can tell it only happens when you are moving with the iPhone – if the iPhone or iPod is stationary on a desk or table I’ve never seen it happen.

The problem therefore seems to be to do with the electrical connection between the headphones and the iPhone.  There are a couple of things to try:

1. Try a brand new pair of headphones and see if the problem stops.  With wear and tear the cable can develop small cracks in the conducting circuit which as they momentarily break and reconnect are enough to trigger voice control.

2. As a last resort try cleaning the headphone socket on the iPhone. You do this at your own risk and you need to take care not to cause any damage! When I do it I get a small cotton-wool bud and gently use it to wipe the inside of the socket.  Dust from your pocket and bags can build up and be enough to stop a strong electrical connection.

Good luck and I hope one of these suggestions fixes your iPhone and stops the random voice control activation.


How to add your business to Apples ios6 / iPhone maps.

If you are like me when you got Apples new iOS6 maps on your phone the first thing you check is have they got your own business or the place you work listed in their database.  As reported in the press several locations are missing and Apple are expecting to crowdsource corrections and additions.  That means they actively want us to report suggested changes.

I’d read that Apple want us to report problems with maps but it wasn’t exactly obvious how you go about it.  I’ve now worked it out and thought I’d share it with you in this blog.

All you need to do to add your business or a missing location to Apple Maps is:

1. Find the location on the map.

2. Tap the page corner in the bottom right of the map display.

3. The map page will then flip back as shown below to reveal the options screen.

How to add your business to Apples ios6/iPhone maps.

 

4. Now look really carefully.  Just above the print button in grey text on a grey background there’s a well hidden link for “Report a Problem”.  It’s so well hidden that until you know it’s there I bet you couldn’t even see it.

5. Press this link and you’ll then see a list of the various types of problems you can report.  Half way down the list you’ll find “Location is missing”.  Select this option and then click Next.

6. They then display the map and ask you to position a pin where your business is located.  Do that and then click Next.

7. You then get a screen which lets you enter the name of the business, address, phone number, opening hours, URL website address and the category of business.

8. When you have done all of that press Send and the details will be sent through to Apple.

 

I’ve now reported a couple of missing local businesses and will be tracking how long it takes Apple to approve the changes and commit them to their database.  As soon as I see them I’ll update this blog with how long it takes.