Apple Inc. released a new application for the iPhone, called Apple TV Remote app which replaces the previous Remote app. After first teasing it World Wide Developer Conference last year and releasing it in beta in June, the new remote app is now available to download free of charge from the App Store.
Compatible with the phone, iPad, and iPod Touch, the app mainly includes support for some of the new features introduced on the Apple TV. The product sports a touch-based remote control with motion sensors for gaming as well as a microphone.
The Apple TV Remote App
Mimicking the functions of the Siri remote control, the app allows users to control any Apple TV without the need for the dedicated physical remote. The app allows users to control games and search on the TV using Siri voice control. However, it’s still an early version and could do with another update that will include additional functionality.
The new Apple TV remote app is not optimized for the iPad's larger displays and it lacks Home Sharing features that enabled users to control iTunes on a Mac. The prior version of the app, which is still available to download, works with iPad, except for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro units.
The Apple TV Remote app is useful as a secondary remote control for the TV or for navigating using a bigger screen. It could also help those who have lost or misplaced their remotes, serving as a substitute for Apple TV remotes, which cost $79 to replace.
Remote App Features
Significant features include the ability to control Apple TV with touch gestures. This can be done using the iPhone's software keyboard to enter text, email addresses, and passwords, play, pause, fast forward, or rewind currently playing videos or songs. Users can ask Siri to find something to watch, listen to, or play. However, the Siri capability requires the fourth-generation Apple TV.
Users can also utilize the new app to play games using the phone's accelerometer and gyroscope. They can enable Game Mode for simplified game controls.
Apple Inc. has tried its best to recreate the feel and look of the physical remote with the app design. The bigger touch surface should allow users to easily scan through media or flick through options. Additionally, there is also a Now Playing button, which does not feature in the existing physical remote. However, the app’s not perfect, though. Users are not able to adjust the volume through the app as well as iPad optimisation.
Besides, the current physical version of the remote can be easily activated unintentionally. This is especially when users are sitting next to it on the couch. The click and swipe option to scan through media also doesn’t work well. Hopefully, those disappointed with the Apple TV remote will get more use from the launch of the new app.