New Apple TV Hacked to Run Native tvOS Web Browser

Dutch developer jvanakker has hacked the new Apple TV to run a native tvOS web browser using a private API based on Apple's UIWebView class, sharing the code on GitHub as a fork of developer Steven Troughton-Smith's tvOSBrowser project. The demo video below shows Apple's website running on the fourth-generation box.


The simplistic tvOS web browser allows you to scroll through pages with the Siri Remote, and pressing the center of the touch surface brings up a cursor for clicking. Pressing the Menu button returns you to the previous page, while the Play/Pause button allows you to input URLs, according to GitHub.

Apple does not allow Apple TV apps to have UIWebViews, so this web browser would not be approved on the tvOS App Store, but the project is a good proof of concept. Apple TV users interested in testing the web browser can follow iDownloadBlog's guide to sideload the app using Xcode and modify a tvOS file to build it successfully.

Earlier this week, it was discovered that tvOS also includes support for iOS-like folders.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: GitHub
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
74 months ago
I don't understand why Apple is against having a browser. This would make it so perfect.
Have you tried a browser on a TV? It's not a particularly enjoyable experience. Both the Wii and Wii U have a browser... but I rarely use it because most websites just don't work well on a TV with a controller/remote?

Even this browser looks like a miserable experience.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
74 months ago
I don't understand why Apple is against having a browser. This would make it so perfect.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
74 months ago
I don't understand why Apple is against having a browser. This would make it so perfect.
It would be useful to have for a very few people in a very few situations. But the vast majority of people would never have a need for an awkward, keyboardless, giant browser (that takes the TV away from other uses) instead of the better browsers all around them that they're already used to. And for the vast majority of people who (think they) would use it, it would turn out to be terrible and they'd end up not using it anyway. And they'd blame Apple for remote-control web browsing being poor, and the media would run with it.

Plus, it would let developers deliver additional awful experiences to users: apps could launch out to the web browser for certain things; or even just not MAKE an app and decide AppleTV users can just go to the site.

I think Apple made the right call. Tech nerds like me want a bullet list of "everything a person can think of," but some things are just poor, and not worth the complexity of including. Every feature has a cost—skip this one.

It's also possible Apple has a browser coming... but I really hope not!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chuges Avatar
74 months ago
Having a browser would be useful for being able to connect the Apple TV to hotel wifi through their web portal, without having to call the IT desk, give them your MAC address, etc..
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
happydude Avatar
74 months ago
Now if the thing just have a good keyboard (virtual or bluetooth) we'd be set!

Gary
i think that's called a "mac mini?"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VulchR Avatar
74 months ago
So Apple is purposively preventing AppleTV from acting as a browser? If so, then good to know. #dealbreaker
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...