Although Apple’s expected to release a new Apple TV this fall that will likely include a touchpad remote, if you have an Apple Watch, you can get a similar effect with your Apple TV right now. The Apple Watch includes a built-in Remote app that’s similar in concept to the one you can put on your iPhone or iPad, although like most Apple Watch apps, it’s somewhat more limited in scope.
The pairing experience isn’t entirely consistent yet either, with some users requiring the old-school four-digit code pairing technique, while others have all of their Home Sharing devices magically show up just as they do in the iOS Remote app.
If you’re in the latter category, you’re pretty much good to and there’s not much more to the process, but if you find your Apple Watch wants you to add a new device manually, you’ll need to take that four-digit code and pay a visit to Settings, General, Remotes on your Apple TV, where your Apple Watch should appear. Select it from there, enter the code, and your Apple TV should show up on your Apple Watch.
Keep in mind that you’ll still need to have your iPhone handy and joined to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV—the Apple Watch doesn’t have Wi-Fi so it uses the iPhone as a gateway.
Once you’re paired and connected, your Apple Watch effectively becomes a touchpad for your Apple TV, allowing you to navigate menus and play and pause content right from your wrist. It doesn’t do much more than the Apple Remote does, but it’s kind of cool to be able to do use it as a touchpad and can be a quick way to pause a movie if you can’t quite remember where you left the remote and don’t feel like digging through the sofa cushions.