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Jun292018

How to Get a Web Browser on Apple TV 4

Category: Smart DNS Proxy

In one of our previous videos, we showed you some of our best apps for Apple TV, and some of you with a keen eye might have noticed a key app missing from the list.

That’s right, it was the Web browser.

There is no Safari for Apple TV, meaning the only browsing you probably did was via AirPlay from your other Apple devices

But guess what, you can sideload tvOS Browser onto an Apple TV. How about that?

While it’s not a full-fledged web browser like Safari or Google Chrome, you can do some basic web surfing, play flash videos and open websites light on data.

So, let’s see how it’s done.

Before we get started, make sure you have following things:

  • a MacBook or an iMac,
  • a usb type C cable,
  • and, of course, your Apple TV.

Now, to sideload a web browser onto your Apple TV we’ll use Xcode, so go ahead and install it from the App Store. The setup file is about 7 Gigs, so make sure you have a fast Internet connection.

Once done, connect your Apple TV and Mac with a type C usb cable and launch Xcode on your Mac.

For this instance, we’re using Xcode version 9, but in case you are using Apple TV 4K, which doesn’t have a usb c port, you can still wirelessly connect it to your Xcode.

Next open the web browser on your Mac and go to this GitHub URL:

https://github.com/jvanakker/tvOSBrowser

It can also be found in the description of the video.

Once there, click on the green tab on the middle right of the page that says ‘Clone or download’.

Copy the URL from a small pop-up window and launch Xcode and click on ‘Clone’ under the ‘Source Control’ tab on the menu bar.

Enter the URL you copied from GitHub page and click on ‘Clone’.

Choose a location and name for your file and click on ‘Clone’ again in the dropdown menu.

Next, open ‘Projects’ folder from the finder window that shows your cloned files, and double click on ‘Browser.xcodeproj’. This’ll open the project in Xcode.

Click on the Build switch that has a “play” sign to build the project.

Now, what you’ll see is a notification that says ‘Build Failed’. This is because ‘UIWebView’ is not available on tvOS. But here’s how to fix this issue.

Open a finder window and go to Applications tab on the left.

Locate Xcode at the end of the list and right click on it to choose ‘Show Package Contents’.

Now, go to Contents > Developer > Platforms > Apple TVOS.platform > Developer > SDKs > Apple TVOS.sdk > usr > include

Open the file ‘Availability.h’ and look for the following lines at around line 318:

#define__TVOS_UNAVAILABLE         __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

#define__TVOS_PROHIBITED            __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

Replace these lines with the following lines:

#define __TVOS_UNAVAILABLE_NOTQUITE    __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

#define __TVOS_PROHIBITED_NOTQUITE    __OS_AVAILABILITY(tvos,unavailable)

Save the file ‘Availability.h’ and return to the Xcode project page.

Click on ‘Build’ again and there you go, you now have a web browser on your Apple TV.

For those of you who are having trouble editing the file ‘Availability.h’ because you don’t have necessary permissions follow these steps.

Right click on the file ‘Availability.h’ and choose ‘get info’.

Click on the lock icon on the bottom right and login with an administrator password.

Click on the + icon and add the required user

Edit the permissions to ‘read & write’ and click on the lock icon.

You should be able to edit the file now.

Alternatively, you can also copy ‘Availability.h’ to your desktop and edit the file there after changing the permissions using the above steps. Replace the file in the original folder with the new edited file and this should definitely work for you. It’s tested and it works for us.

Now, again click on a ‘built’ option on Xcode. For some of you, it might work this time, for the rest who still see error, here is how to fix it.

To find the problem lick on the red exclamation mark on the right side of navigation pane, this will open a new window that shows the error page.

First error is, you need to enter your Dev Account, if you don’t have a Dev Account, simply use your Apple ID. That works as well.

Now, the second issue, ‘Bundle Identifier’ or the original dev is not identified by apple. To fix this, again go to GitHub page, copy the name of the developer and replace his name in Bundle Identifier.

Finally, click on ‘Build’ again and, volla, it should work this time. You might have to type in your Apple admin password to compile the source code.

Now, you’ll be now able to see the new ‘Browser’ app on your Apple TV main screen. Here are a few tips for using the tvOS browser through Apple TV Siri remote.

So, what can you do with your tvOS browser?

Well, you can search on Google, open up websites like Smart DNS Proxy, you can even play gifs and browse the Internet.

But what about videos? Well, unfortunately, that doesn’t work,

Even though it’s not a full-blown web browser, it should suffice for the basic needs of browsing on Apple TV.

That said, check out our other video on how to setup Smart DNS Proxy on Apple TV to unblock geo-restricted content on streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora or Amazon Prime Video.

We have a lot more videos coming soon, so make sure you click subscribe button to keep you posted.

Thanks for reading and watching.

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