Although the Apple TV 4K is a nice streaming field, its remote keep an eye on is—to put it flippantly—polarizing.
The symmetrical design is too simple to grasp the other way up, and it’s so skinny that it steadily slips between sofa cushions. Meanwhile, the touchpad at the best rejects your feeble makes an attempt at precision; you steadily over- or undershoot no matter on-screen icon you had been making an attempt to press.
Now, a main maker of remote controls for cable firms is stepping in to repair the remote itself. Universal Electronics’s Apple TV remote has a correct directional pad as an alternative of a touchpad, at the side of devoted buttons for pause, speedy ahead, and rewind. It additionally seems to be a lot heftier than Apple’s remote, so it has much less of a likelihood of having misplaced within the sofa. (The information was once first reported by Matthew Keys of The Desk.)
Universal Electronics isn’t providing the remote to present Apple TV customers, even though. Instead, the corporate plans to promote branded variations of the remote to cable firms, a few of that have began distributing Apple TVs to their shoppers as an alternative of cable containers. (Spectrum, as an example, now gives its streaming video services and products on Apple TV and permits shoppers to pay for the $180 field in 24 monthly installments.)
To that finish, Universal Electronics has added some additional buttons no longer discovered on the common Apple TV remote. There’s a button for citing the TV supplier’s channel information, buttons for flipping between channels, and a devoted mute key. The remote additionally comprises backlighting and makes use of an ambient gentle sensor to light up the buttons when anyone choices up the remote in a darkish room.
This isn’t the simplest third-party try at development a better Apple TV. You can simply in finding others with devoted directional pads, mute buttons, and playback controls, equivalent to this $25 remote from a corporate referred to as One for All. But the ones different remotes all keep in touch with the Apple TV by way of infrared, which is much less dependable than Bluetooth and calls for line of sight to the field. They additionally lack a Siri button for voice instructions.
By distinction, the Universal Electronics remote is qualified below Apple’s MFi program and helps each Bluetooth keep an eye on and Siri. It seems to be the first certainly one of its sort.
Personally, I don’t thoughts the common Apple TV remote—or a minimum of, I acknowledge that the touchpad has its benefits for scrolling thru menus—however as anyone who writes a lot about twine reducing, I’ve talked to a lot of other people who despise it. In normal, the minimalist remotes of streaming gadgets will also be a turn-off to individuals who’ve spent many years controlling a cable field, and the Apple TV remote is as minimalist as they get.
It’s all the extra disappointing, then, that Universal Electronics’s remote might be bought to cable firms as an alternative of shoppers. But with a new Apple TV rumored for next year, we will be able to a minimum of hope Apple’s taking notes.