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This article was published on March 30, 2021

The Apple TV remote is getting a redesign… maybe there is a god?


The Apple TV remote is getting a redesign… maybe there is a god?

For a company so renowned for its design, Apple sure does release some stinkers. For every gorgeous new MacBook, you have the butterfly keyboard. For every iPhone, you have that stupid mouse you couldn’t use while charging. And for every AirPods Pro, you have the accursed Apple TV remote.

God I hate it. So much. But we’ll get onto that: let’s discuss the good news first.

Apple is supposedly redesigning the Apple TV Remote. 9to5Mac has been told by sources that the company is developing a new controller for its upcoming Apple TV. The new bit of hardware has been given the codename “B519,” as opposed to the current moniker for the Siri Remote, which is “B439.”

Does this mean anything? I… don’t really think so. But some folks believe it means big design change is a-comin’ — and I cannot tell you how onboard I am with this.

A picture of the Apple TV and the sucky Apple TV remote (AKA the Siri Remote) simply to break up the piece.

The Apple TV is long overdue for a refresh. It’s coming up to a year since I wrote about how the Apple TV had been out for a thousand days with no updates, and it appears Apple hasn’t felt pressured to fix this. Yes, there have been rumors that a new Apple TV will drop soon — and I believe it’ll happen this year — but it has been far too long.

I could almost accept this delay. Yes, a faster Apple TV 4K would be great, but it still does a solid job at playing media. The problem is the remote. The continuing existence of the current Apple TV remote is proof that Satan exists and holds an important role on the company’s design team.

The worst part of the Apple TV remote is how close it is to not being awful. Like, if it was truly bad, I would’ve gone out and bought a replacement. Instead, the design is so skilfully balanced between being constantly infuriating, but not enough for me to do anything about, that I cannot fail to see the scaly claws of Beezelbub behind it.

Where do I begin with the horrors of the Apple TV remote?

The “touchpad” veers between being either utterly unresponsive, or so sensitive that you brush it and whatever you’re watching gets flung ten seconds into the future. Or the fact the Apple TV remote is shaped perfectly to be lost down the side of any sofa, with little chance of recovery.

Or, maybe, how it’s almost fucking impossible to use in the dark because the whole thing feels the same. No, that stupid white ring around the menu button does not make that much difference.

If it was written 60 years later, Tolkien would’ve made Frodo throw this damn thing into Mount Doom. The Apple TV remote is a design nightmare. Its existence makes me want to believe in a god so I can curse them for what they’ve done to me.

So yeah, you could say I’m pretty excited that Apple may release a refreshed one. But I also won’t forget the horned fellow working in the design department over there in Cupertino, so I’m not holding my breath.

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