Eddy Cue promises new iOS remote app for Apple TV

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Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The remote for the new Apple TV can be a bit tricky to master and very easy to break, but help is on the according to Apple media boss Eddy Cue who revealed this morning that an iOS remote app for the new black box is coming soon.

“We’re working on a new Apple TV remote app that will give you the full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone,” Cue said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “We’re hoping to ship that in the first half of next year.”

Cue also spilled some details about the new Apple TV’s early success, claiming the device already has over 2,000 apps. Over half of the customer who have bought the new box are people who are upgrading from the last Apple TV, while the other half are brand new to the platform.

Even though Apple TV isn’t touted as a gaming platform, the biggest hits on Apple TV so far have been games, putting it in a great position to rival Xbox and Playstation by appealing to more casual fans.

“What we’re seeing with the new Apple TV is to me very similar to what happened with gaming on the iPhone,” Cue said. “When we first announced the iPhone, we didn’t tout it as a gaming device. But games became a huge part of iPhone, because it turns out that a lot more people than just hardcore gamers love games. We expanded the market. I think the vast majority of people around the world probably aren’t looking to buy an Xbox or PlayStation. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy playing games. I think Apple TV expands the gaming market to those people.”

Political coverage ahead of the next US presidential election could also be a big draw for the platform. Cue sees a lot of potential for presidential candidates to reach new demographics by creating a native tvOS app.

“If I was a news guy covering the elections I’d create an Apple TV channel,” said Cue. “If I was one of the candidates I’d create an Apple TV channel.”