Back in 2008, Apple released its official iOS Remote App, enabling users to control and navigate their Apple TV units using an iPhone or iPad. However, if you just so happen to own the company’s latest, 4th generation set-top box, you’ve likely noticed, thus far, that you’re unable to do so.
That’s because, unfortunately, when the latest iteration of the Apple TV was released in October, it didn’t feature support for the iOS Remote App out of the box. And Apple’s Remote App can come in rather handy, actually, if you’re unable to locate the hardware remote, for example, or your iPhone is the closest thing to you. So, needless to say, many users were perhaps scratching their heads wondering why they couldn’t do that.
Well, good news, friends — the tides are officially turning thanks to the release of tvOS 9.1, which adds support for the official Apple Remote iOS App.
Why Apple initially decided to forego that functionality with its newest TV is beyond us, however it’s been speculated that, since the 4th generation TV already features a revamped remote offering Siri functionality and its own touch control pad, Apple just didn’t really see the immediate priority to include support for the company’s Remote App.
Likewise, given the presence of the touch control pad on the new Siri-enabled Remote, Apple probably didn’t see the need to incorporate the feature right out-of-the-box. However, for previous generation Apple TV units, the Remote App was a big step up from the limited capabilities of the physical hardware remotes that accompanied those units.
Users of Apple’s newest TV might want to consider downloading the Remote App, even if specifically for the purpose of efficient text entry, alone. That can be a hassle, as many users will likely tell you, due to the fact that you otherwise have to navigate the onscreen keyboard to enter text using just your finger on the control pad.
The only downside, unfortunately, is that the Apple Remote App currently doesn’t feature Siri functionality like the newly redesigned remote. On the other hand, however, the good news is that Apple is apparently planning to release an updated version of the Remote App within the first half of 2016 that will feature Siri integration for search and control of the device.
In the interim, if you’re looking for an alternative to, or simply can’t locate your Siri-enabled remote, Apple’s Remote App for iOS is a great option that provides several advantages over the standard hardware remote. And, after all, we’re now just a few months away from the release of the whole package!