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Facebook SDK for tvOS could solve Apple TV's app login problem

Facebook, not Apple, could be the company to streamline tvOS app account authentication, a process that currently requires users punch in login and password information on an app-by-app basis using a cumbersome onscreen keyboard.

In what could be a potential solution, Facebook on Wednesday announced a beta version of its Facebook SDK for tvOS with support for logins. For Apple TV, Facebook Login allows users to enter in a generated onscreen confirmation code on a smartphone or computer, rather than using the Siri Remote to peck out their username and password.

Reviews for Apple's fourth-generation Apple TV were generally positive, but many pointed out an apparent shortcoming in the way tvOS handles app logins. Also noted in AppleInsider's review, tvOS does not support universal authentication, meaning users have to enter account credentials into non-Apple apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more.

Making things worse, Apple decided to ditch Apple TV's onscreen text grid for linear character pickers, one for letters, another for numbers and special characters and a third for caps lock and symbols. The new design also doesn't support cursor wrapping, forcing users to swipe back and forth from one end to the other using Siri Remote's touchpad. Further, VoiceOver has not yet been enabled for text field input despite Apple TV's ability to process voice commands.

Compounding issues is a lack of support for Apple's own Remote app, which grants access to an iOS device's soft keyboard for entering data into text fields. Fourth-generation Apple TV owners are relegated to the Siri Remote or a Bluetooth keyboard.

Alongside logins, Facebook's tvOS SDK features Share to Facebook integration for sharing links, photos, videos and more with friends on the social network. The company is also offering developers access to Facebook analytics, a powerful tool for tracking user engagement across multiple platforms.