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With the new Apple TV remote, the nightmare finally ends

An old Siri remote by any other name would suck as hard

With the new Apple TV remote, the nightmare finally ends
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum lies somewhere between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He wr Callum lies somewhere between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — and also makes the occasional odd video.

Last night’s Apple event rocked my teensy-tiny reptile brain. But amongst all the badass updates and new hardware, one thing stood above the rest: the new Apple TV remote.

Also known as the Siri remote, the old version of this device is one of the most harrowing things I’ve contended with. I’ve gone into detail about this before, but it’s scarred me so much I think it’s worth repeating.

First though, let’s understand what we’re talking about. Have a look at the old Apple TV remotes:

apple tv remote siri remote background
When you open your eyes and discover you’re in hell, this is the first thing you’ll see.

A little context. The device on the left was the most recent Siri remote, which was an “upgraded” version of the hardware on the right. Yes, you’re right, putting a white circle around the menu button is a fantastic refresh.

Long story short, the old Apple TV remote was a useless piece of shit.

The touchpad at the top was borderline unusable, veering between oversensitivity and complete disregard for your fingers. Because it’s close-to-impossible to know which way is “up” by feel alone, the damn thing was useless in the dark. Oh, and the old Apple TV remote was constructed in the perfect dimensions for the gaps between your sofa and cushions.

It’s a worthless piece of crap and I’m willing to die on this hill.

Thankfully though, things changed last night. Along with the Apple TV upgrade that we’ve all been waiting for, the company announced a new Siri remote that, on paper, looks a hell of a lot better. Here it is for your eyeholes:

new apple tv remote new siri remote
This is enough to make me want to believe in a higher power.

First things first, I’m so, so, so, so, so happy Apple got rid of the touchpad on the Siri remote. Instead, we have what appears to be a far more tactile, actual button. This should make flicking forward and back through shows far easier.

Oh, and navigating menus too. Yes, the old one was that bad.

Another great design choice with the new Apple TV remote is its length — while you can’t see it in this comparison, the remodelled version is about 20% longer than the old one. This, friends, should make it more pleasant to use.

Color-wise, I think I would’ve preferred the new Siri remote to remain black, rather than this mid-2000s grey, but I get it. This decision will make it easier to find in a dark room. You win some, lose some, I guess.

Something else I’m excited about is the fact you can buy a new Siri remote by itself for $60. This means that if you already have an Apple TV, and don’t want to upgrade to the latest hardware, you can still escape from the nightmare of the old remote and buy this new one instead.

Honestly, this isn’t a very “Apple” move. I would’ve expected the company to try and squeeze you for every penny you’re worth, and force you to buy a new Apple TV box to get the remote. Not that I’m complaining about this current situation, mind.

So, what are my thoughts overall? Fuck yeah. Fuck yeah a thousand times over. At long last I can finally add the old Apple TV remote to my list of vanquished nemeses. And for that, I am thankful.

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