Apple quietly (or as quietly as Apple can do anything, which means it’s widely reported) removed the Apple TV Remote app from the App Store.
The app allowed owners to control their Apple TV without having to use the controversial Siri Remote that comes with the set-top box. It let users navigate Apple TV with touch gestures, quickly enter text using the keyboard, ask Siri to find things to watch, and more.
It seems the writing has been on the wall for a while, however. That’s because Apple added an Apple TV Remote option to the Control Center in iOS 11. The feature allows users to control Apple TV without having to download an app. (Find out how to set it up: How to customize Control Center in iOS 11.)
After the Control Center addition, the Apple TV Remote app outlived its usefulness and stopped receiving regular updates.
Apple is rumored to be working on a next-gen Apple TV that could debut soon. According to a September report from Bloomberg, an Apple TV with a processor upgrade “for improved gaming” is currently in the works. According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, the new Apple TV will not debut until 2021.
Apple has certainly increased its focus on TV (via its Apple TV+ subscription service) since its last set-top box upgrade in September 2017. Given that, it will be interesting to see whether the next Apple TV reflects that in some way.
It’s been a long time since Cupertino referred to Apple TV as just a “hobby.” But Apple TV is still not one of the company’s more successful products.