The Siri Remote is a beautiful sheet of glass and aluminum — one that disappears into couch cushions in seconds.
As much as I gripe about certain Siri Remote features, it’s a pretty nice bit of technology. It should never have been a game controller, and I’m grateful it no longer instantly scans through your video if you accidentally touch the trackpad — but it’s comfortable in the hand, and Siri is a wonderful addition when trying to find and watch my TV and movies.
God forbid the Siri Remote disappears in your couch, however. That gorgeous sheet of glass and aluminum is the perfect size to slip between cushions, inside magazines, and under dishes. And heaven help you if the space black remote falls under the couch. In my first month with the Apple TV, I lost the remote no fewer than six times; I finally gave up and got one of Studio Neat’s Apple TV Remote Stands, where the remote now lives whenever it’s not specifically in my hand.
I’ve had the Apple TV for five months now: This is not a new problem. But seeing this Macworld article reminded me just how irritated I’ve been when it disappears. These days, I am more responsible about where I put my remote than where I put my keys, wallet, or phone — because I can find all three with either a Tile or Apple’s own Find My iPhone app.
Unlike the fine folks at Macworld, I’m not going to stick a Tile to my Apple TV remote, tempting as it may be. Sure, it temporarily solves the locator problem (and the “which way is up” issue), but it looks ridiculous. No, I want a new remote: One with a tiny little speaker.
The Siri Remote already has Bluetooth built-in — it’s how it connects to your Apple TV — so there’s no reason why Apple can’t build in a “Find my Apple TV remote” locator. All it needs in that metal chassis is a speaker that can make a “ping” noise when you’ve lost it.
I use a version of this feature constantly when it comes to my iPhone: Whenever I don’t know where it’s run off to, I swipe up on my Apple Watch’s face and tap the Find iPhone button. No UI muss and fuss beyond a button to tap, and the iPhone sends out a submarine-style ping so that it’s easily discoverable. It seems like a no-brainer to include this feature in the Siri Remote — a device that’s smaller than the iPhone and, like all remotes before it, much more easily lost in the house.
Just one ping, please
Granted, I do partially understand why this feature didn’t make it into the first version of the Siri Remote and Apple TV: At the time, the updated Remote app for iPhone wasn’t ready, and there was no place on the Apple TV box itself to place a physical button to ping a missing remote. But that’s the beauty of Bluetooth devices: Apple doesn’t even need to ship an Apple TV version two for this to come into effect.
Instead, the company could offer a replacement Siri remote on the Apple Store with a built-in “Find My Remote” ping, triggered by a button in the updated Remote app on iPhone. As long as the remote still connects via Bluetooth 4.0 and IR, it should be compatible with the current Apple TV. On the hardware side, speakers these days can be made in minuscule packages for paltry sums of money: I can’t imagine that it would be too hard to cram one into the Apple TV remote.
What do you think, iMore? Is this a crazy request, or are there bits on the Siri Remote you’d prefer to see fixed first? Let us know in the comments.
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