For a company so famous for its design, Apple certainly releases stinks. For every beautiful new MacBook, you have the Butterfly Keyboard. For every iPhone you have this stupid mouse that you can’t use while charging. And for every AirPods Pro, you’ve got the damn Apple TV remote.
God, I hate this. So much. But we’ll get to that: let’s discuss the good news first.
Apple is supposed to redesign 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 hardware bit was codenamed “B519”, as opposed to Siri Remote’s current nickname, which is “B439”.
Does that mean anything? I… don’t really think so. But some think that means a big design change is imminent – and I can’t tell you how much I agree with that.
Apple TV is long overdue for a refresh. It’s been a year since I wrote about Apple TV being out for a thousand days without updates, and it looks like Apple didn’t feel pressured to fix that. Yes, there have been rumors that a new Apple TV will drop soon – and I think it will happen this year – but it’s been far too long.
I could almost accept this delay. Yes, a faster 4K Apple TV would be great, but it still does a solid job of playing media. The problem is the remote. The continued existence of the current Apple TV remote is proof that Satan exists and plays an important role in the company’s design team.
The worst part about the Apple TV remote is how close it is to not being awful. For example, if it was really bad, I would have gone out and bought a replacement. Instead, the design is so skillfully balanced between being constantly maddening, but not enough for me to do anything, that I can’t help but see Beezelbub’s scaly claws behind.
Where do you start with the horrors of the Apple TV remote?
The “touchpad” oscillates between being totally unresponsive or so sensitive that you rub it and everything you watch is projected ten seconds into the future. Or the fact that the Apple TV remote is perfectly designed to be lost on the side of any sofa, with little chance of recovery.
Or, maybe, how it is almost impossible to use in the dark because everything is the same. No, that silly white ring around the menu button doesn’t make much of a difference.
If it had been written 60 years later, Tolkien would have 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 that I can curse them for what they have done to me.
So yeah, you could tell I’m pretty excited Apple can pull out a refreshed one. But I won’t forget the horned comrade who works in the design department there in Cupertino either, so I don’t hold my breath.
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Published March 30, 2021 – 08:04 UTC