Announced at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June, single sign-on is a feature designed to eliminate the need to sign into apps individually. Trust us: Typing in your user names and passwords into multiple TV apps gets real old, real fast. Single sign-on promises to make what used to be an arduous process into something simple and elegant.
One its website, Apple explains how this feature works:
Now when you enter your cable or satellite subscription credentials on Apple TV, you get immediate access to all the apps in your pay TV package that support single sign-on. So you authenticate once and you’re done.
Now, the single sign-on feature is live for iOS and tvOS users, which should make your life a lot easier. Unfortunately, the list of cable providers that support the feature is relatively small—and the list of third-party apps is even more complicated.
Worse, Apple says that even if your provider supports single sign-on, there’s a possibility you’ll still have to sign in to third-party apps individually. In order for there to be a seamless experience, there needs to be robust support from both cable providers and TV apps. It’ll be a slow process before things get good.
How to sign-in
You can either use your iOS device or Apple TV to sign in to single sign-on, which is more or less the same experience. Make sure you have have iOS 10 or tvOS 10, navigate to Settings, and find the section titled “TV Provider.” From here, you’ll see a list of supported providers. Simply use your credentials (email/user name and password) and you should be good to go.
After that, you should (in theory) have access to all of the apps supported by single sign-on without having to enter your user name and password. If you’ve ever entered any credentials using the Apple TV remote, you know that the less you use it, the better.
Unfortunately, the list of TV providers that support single sign-on is pretty slim right now. Even worse, the supported apps differ depending on if you’re on iOS or tvOS, so it can get pretty confusing. Above is a list of apps that currently support single sign-on as of Dec. 6.
The list of TV providers and app that support Apple’s new feature should grow as the months go on. As it stands, however, it’s not exactly the future Apple promised.