If you just so happen to own one of Apple’s latest, 4th generation TV set-top boxes, in addition to a Mac desktop or Macbook computer, then today is definitely a day to celebrate; a new and free application for OS X will now allow you to control your Mac using the Apple TV’s Siri-enabled remote control.
Once installed, the free SiriMote app for OS X 10.11 El Capitan enables you to control certain features on your computer, thereby restoring some functionality present in previous generations of the Apple TV remote.
Setting up the app, however, isn’t exactly a cakewalk. While the step-by-step instructions are relatively straightforward and easy enough to follow, actually getting your Siri-enabled remote to pair with your Mac takes a bit of effort, and probably won’t happen the first time you attempt to make it work.
For starters, your Apple TV box has to be unplugged in order for the Siri remote to be recognized by your Mac, which can be a hassle, in and of itself. Additionally, you might have to reboot your computer once or twice, and play around with the Bluetooth connectivity (toggle on and off) a few times before the connection is officially made. Some reviewers of the app have thus far indicated that physically pairing the two devices can be a bit of a pain in the rear end and, even after the two have made a connection, sometimes it still doesn’t work for a while thereafter.
On the other hand, however, once you’re ultimately able to get the app up and running, it performs flawlessly, and the remote does exactly what it’s intended to do. You can then play and pause media, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust volume controls. Additionally, the remote can be used to control PowerPoint presentations in the Keynote app for OS X. Unfortunately, however, that app currently does not take advantage of the new remote’s touchpad interface.
So if for some reason you’ve been looking for a remote to control media playback on your computer, or perhaps need a PowerPoint presentation navigator, or, heck, if you simply miss the days when your Apple TV remote could double as a peripheral control mechanism for your Mac computer, then the SiriMote is definitely a good option for you.