The nightmare of navigating Apple TV on the company’s touch-based Siri Remote is coming to an end for some folks in Switzerland. A Swiss company that provides Internet and TV services has announced the availability of a new Apple TV remote that uses regular old buttons.
After receiving one too many complaints about the Siri Remote from its customers, Swiss telecom company Salt has decided to take matters into its own hands and redesign the remote—albeit with some help from Apple. Salt includes an Apple TV 4K as part of its broadband TV bundle and apparently its subscribers have had it up to here with the innovations Apple tried to implement with its new remote control.
Although it looks great and has some new capabilities like doubling as a game controller, the Siri Remote is a hot mess according to most of the reviews you’ll read online. It’s too thin and small to hold comfortably, it’s so symmetrical that you can’t tell if it’s right side up or upside down without looking at it (good luck in the dark because there’s no backlight), and it’s ultimately just a little too futuristic for its own good.
This is a classic case where Apple tried to fix something that wasn’t broken and prioritized form over function in the process—such is life on the cutting edge of technology. To make things right for its customers, Salt teamed up with Apple to develop a more conventional design for the Apple TV remote. This thing has all the controls a couch potato could ever want, including hardware buttons for power, menu, volume, arrow navigation, and media playback shortcuts.
Salt’s solution will sell for less than 20 Swiss francs (about $20 USD) and it will work with Apple TV straight out of the box. Great. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when you’ll be able to buy one if you live outside of Switzerland. If nothing else, this suggests that Apple is aware that its current Siri Remote isn’t perfect, and may mean that we can look forward to a revamped Siri Remote at some point.