The flimsy reason Apple TV Siri Remote doesn’t feature AirTag tracking tech


Apple's new Apple TV 4K with redesigned Siri Remote
Wouldn't it have been great if the Siri Remote featured some of Apple's smart AirTag tracking tech?
Photo: Apple

Of all the items that get misplaced regularly in my home, the TV remote has got to rank up there as number one. Other items, such as keys and wallet, may have a smaller footprint, but for whatever reason it’s the TV remote which constantly winds up going MIA.

With Apple redesigning the hated Siri Remote for its 2021 Apple TV 4K, you’d think it would be the perfect time to add some kind of tracking functionality to the device. After all, Apple’s just introduced AirTag, its location-tracking smart tech which promises to help you locate those hard-to-find with impressive accuracy.

Surely Apple could have squeezed its U1 Precision Tracking tech into the revamped Siri Remote? Apparently not. And according to a somewhat cryptic comment by Tim Twerdahl, Apple’s vice president of product marketing for home and audio, it’s to do with it being too thick. Or something.

The remote is too thick to get lost or something

Speaking with MobileSyrup, Twerdahl fielded a question about how this tech would prove handy for users. In response to the question, “Was there ever any thought to adding some sort of U1 AirTag-like technology in the 2nd-gen Siri Remote?”, Twerdahl said that:

“We are super excited about AirTags and what we’re doing with U1, and part of that power is the Find My network and the fact that we can leverage a billion devices around the world to help you find stuff. To your point, that is the most powerful out of the home. With the changes we’ve made to the Siri Remote — including making it a bit thicker so it won’t fall in your couch cushions as much — that need to have all these other network devices find it seems a little bit lower.”

It’s questionable assertion, not least because AirTags have been advertised as helping find items in the home. Also, I don’t know what kind of orderly home Twerdahl has, but considerably larger remote controls have been going missing long before Apple TV was a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye.

This may also been the only time in history when a device being thicker is advertised as the reason for not including a feature. Usually it works the other way around.

Source: MobileSyrup


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.