Take Control Of The TV App With These 10 Shortcuts

Access each and every part of Apple's TV app with these shortcuts built of the web URL counterparts for each section.

I don’t know what compels me to do this sometimes, but one weekend in May I felt the need to create shortcuts to access all the tabs I could in the TV app for iPhone and iPad.

Generally, I really like having deep access into various parts of my apps – if I already know where I want to go, why navigate around manually when I can just use a shortcut?

Plus, I usually just want to get to my Up Next queue, but sometimes I’m browsing for movies and TV shows, or otherwise I’m often going into my Library to watch a movie I own – so I set out to make my own TV App shortcuts.

Simple Link Redirects

As it turns out, tv.apple.com automatically redirects you into the Watch Now tab of the TV app – I can quickly ask Siri, or tap on the Shortcuts widget that’s on my dedicated Media Home Screen, and I’m taken right to my queue.1

Following that URL pattern and taking a wild guess, I found out that tv.apple.com/sports worked as well, in addition to /movies, /tv, and /search, so I made shortcuts for all three of those as well. So, if you want to see the latest scores, browse recently-released movies, and which episodes are selling right now, my Sports, Movies, and TV shortcuts can take you straight there at any moment.

Plus, I found that adding /library would take you to the Recent Purchases page (since Apple breaks your library out across multiple tabs).

Channel Deep Links

The Apple Originals tab threw me for a slight loop, however, but in the end getting through this block led me to the solution for even more sections – using Google Search to find the special links that don’t follow such a simple pattern.

As I browsed sites where Apple linked to specific shows, I noticed they often included a link to all the other Originals – which resulted in a link like https://tv.apple.com/channel/tvs.sbd.4000 that did correctly redirect into the tab, resulting in my Apple Originals shortcut. Even just editing the URL a few times as a test eventually took me to the MLS Season Pass section of the Sports page at https://tv.apple.com/channel/tvs.sbd.7000.

Room Deep Links

The Major League Baseball page I also discovered online at https://tv.apple.com/us/room/edt.item.62327df1-6874-470e-98b2-a5bbeac509a2, now appearing in a room URL pattern.

Following that deeper through some search sleuthing, I also found https://tv.apple.com/us/room/included-with-apple-tv/edt.item.63615807-8e26-454f-8b52-653004073511, which chops out the section found in both the Watch Now and Originals tabs into its own page for content that’s Included With Apple TV – as of writing, Apple has temporarily purchased rights to movies like Master & Commander and 300, and this selection often changes related to upcoming or current Apple TV+ releases. With my shortcut to access this tab, Apple TV+ users can ask Siri every few weeks or so and find new content that’s freely available for a limited time.

Googling around I also found links for the Oscars dedicated view, the page for all the Free Trials you can get across Apple TV apps & services, and only two of the dedicated Categories like Kids & Family and a subpage of Non-Fiction Originals. However, without being able to build out a larger second half of the set, I decided not to release these as shortcuts – plus, for once, the use cases were infrequent enough even for someone like me, who really loves making shortcuts, to not bother with them.

Get My TV App Shortcuts

Overall, I’m happy to have these shortcuts – they work great in a Large widget, with Siri, or from Spotlight. Half of the fun was honestly in discovering that any of these URLs were possible, and I’d love if Apple provided links to each Category of the app so I could build out the rest.

Get the folder of TV App shortcuts.

  1. If possible, I would’ve preferred access directly to a full page view of my Watch Now list, but that doesn’t exist – I’ve requested it from Apple as FB12491762. 

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