Need an current Apple device to set up an Apple TV?

One thing that puzzles me about the AppleTV is why no-one seems to be up in arms that Apple now FORCE you to use a very latest iDevice with latest OS in order to complete user setup. Using a device used to be an option, but you could simply type in any required data instead. Not any longer. You HAVE to use the mobile device and it HAS to be one of the latest running the latest OS and it HAS to be using the same iCloud account as the Apple TV.

This is not something I can do. I have a suitable device, but we use a joint account on the Apple TVs and only have a slightly too old device set up to use that iCloud account.

Spent ages on the phone to Apple support who kept telling me to restart devices and then finally admitted that yes, they have eliminated the manual method of completing the update. After that they kept saying I should log out of iCloud on my iPhone and log in as the other iCloud account. Complete setup on the AppleTV and then reverse the procedure on the iPhone. They clearly had no idea of what nonsense that entails as all user data gets deleted when you log out of iCloud and it takes ages and they expect everyone to do that every time there’s a software update to the AppleTV.

So basically, I cannot update my half dozen or so Apple TVs due to what I can only think of as Apple’s stupidity. Or is it arrogance?

Anyway, as I said, why is no one else shouting about this? It is monstrously manipulative of Apple to try and force people to buy the latest hardware in this way and ruin it for everyone else.

It’s been a while since I’ve set up an Apple TV, and I agree that it’s a shame you can’t set one up without another Apple device (if that is indeed the case.) However, you can run software update on the Apple TV itself, in the Settings app. I have never needed another device to run a software update. (And the Apple TV has a setting that will have it update itself, but I have to report that I’ve had an Apple TV several versions back, months past when the first update shipped, that never updated themselves in the past, so I’m really never sure what version my Apple TVs - I have 4 - are running.)

It’s not the ability to run the update that’s at issue. Well, peripherally perhaps as I’ve had to turn off auto updates to avoid this, but now I’m plagued with constant reminders (almost every time one is turned on) to update.

No the problem is that the recent tvOS versions (16 I seem to recall), in order to finish the update, it needs to ‘update iCloud settings’ and now the ONLY way to do that is to use a latest iDevice with iOS 16 or later (this actually appeared on the first Apple TV to experience this problem, 2 weeks BEFORE iOS 16 was released. Well done Apple.

Previously, as I said it was possible to complete this part of the update by manually typing in login credentials, but that option has been specifically removed and even Apple finally admitted that to me. So a new iDevice using the same iCloud account is now the ONLY way to complete the setup.

The Apple TV still runs, but since the iCloud setup is incomplete, it keeps complaining about that and stating that some things will not work until iCloud setup is complete.

I know Apple are constantly pushing users harder and harder to ‘buy new kit’, but this is going too far and I would have thought off-putting for anyone without the latest kit. Which is why I cannot understand why there is not more of an outcry about this appalling decision by Apple.

I’ve been a devoted Apple user for almost 40 years now and I’ve seen the changes, but this takes the biscuit. It really does.

I am not seeing that at all. I haven’t had to log in to iCloud to any of my Apple TVs since I’ve first set them up, and some of mine are years old now. (Well, all of them are 2 years old or more.)

I suppose this (if true, and my experience has been the same as Doug’s) may reflect the integration of iPhones, HomePods, Apple TVs and third party smart home devices into an integrated, uh, experience (if that’s the term I want) controlled from “Home”? Or something. I remain fuddled by it all, and find its implementation squirrelly. It’s also dawning on me (via my tentative investigations into how continuity camera works) that it probably uses Multipeer Connectivity, which “in iOS . . . uses infrastructure Wi-Fi networks, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth personal area networks.” Oy.

Anyway: can anyone undertake, or suggest, a summary explanation how all this stuff actually works and post it, perhaps as a new topic?

If your take is indeed correct, it’s a pretty dumb choice by Apple as all it’s likely to do is irritate users. I mean, who’s realistically going to think, “Hmm, I better go spend $800 for a new phone so I can log into my Apple TV.” I doubt, however, this is some ham-handed attempt by Apple to force users to upgrade their phones. It’s more likely some engineer just assumed everyone was like him or her and has up-to-date devices. Or the engineer accidentally disabled the manual entry option, and no one at Apple caught the bug because they had phones handy during testing.

I suppose the change could have something to with the push to eliminate the use of passwords, but it would seem to be premature to introduce that change at this point when passkeys are just starting to be implemented.

I’ve had to reauthenticate on both my Apple TV and a friend’s after a fairly recent update. I’ve also seen it on my Macs where occasionally I’ve been asked to reauthenticate my iCloud account after an OS update. It’s not after every update, just once in a while.

On my Apple TV, which is logged into both my iCloud account and my friend’s, I noticed, like UKenGB, that I couldn’t reauthenticate her account because I didn’t have her phone around. As far as I could see, there was no way to manually enter her password like there used to be. I ended up just removing her account from the Apple TV to get rid of the reminders.