Apple is working on a new remote for its next-gen Apple TV, 9to5Mac reports. While the story doesn’t share specific details about the rejigged remote, it suggests Apple might move away from the controversial Siri Remote that debuted with the fourth-gen Apple TV.
People often single out the Siri Remote as one of the more controversial designs in Apple history. It sits alongside the “hockey puck” mouse of the iMac G3 and the dodgy, upside-down charging of the Magic Mouse 2 in Apple’s hall of infamy.
Monday’s report says the revised remote currently under development bears the code name B519. By comparison, the current Siri Remote is code-named B439 inside Apple. Whether this turns out to be an updated Siri Remote or something entirely new remains to be seen.
“When Apple introduced the Apple TV 4K in 2017, the Siri Remote had a small change with a white ring around the Menu button, which made it be identified as a new model,” 9to5Mac wrote, citing anonymous sources. “However, as the new Remote has an internal model number way above the current version, we believe the changes will be more significant.”
Not the first time
This isn’t the first time there have been reports of an updated Apple TV or remote. “Apple is planning an upgraded box with a stronger gaming focus, an updated remote and a new processor,” Bloomberg wrote late last year. In early December, Nikkei also reported that Apple was working on a sixth-gen Apple TV box.
This will be the first new Apple TV box to launch since the debut of the Apple TV+ streaming service in November 2019.
It will certainly be interesting to find out what Apple has in mind for a new remote. Apple deserves credit for trying something bold with the Siri Remote, although it does not appear to have entirely worked.
Many people still cling to the idea that Apple should be able to reinvent TV as we know it, based on comments made in Steve Jobs’ official biography a decade ago. Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “cracked” the formula for making a compelling TV navigation tool. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” Jobs said.
More than a decade later, it seems that Apple is still working to deliver such a user interface. Let’s wait and see what 2021 has in store!