Apple’s new Siri Remote for the 2021 Apple TV 4K is hailed as being a positive step forward (possibly even leap forward) compared to the previous Siri Remote, one of the most questionable designs in Apple history. But not everything is smooth sailing.
Click Wheel Problems
According to a report by Apple Insider, some users are having trouble with the next-gen Siri Remote, due to the circular gesture used on the iPod-style click wheel not always working as it should. This gesture is designed to scrub through footage as an alternative to fast-forward and rewind buttons. Tim Twerdahl, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing for Home and Audio, recently noted that:
Once we came up with this circular design we thought it looked a lot like the iPod [click] wheel, so what could do that could really help people with their TV using an interface like that? The scrubbing of video came as such a natural thing, professional editors often use these jog-style controls, which are quite powerful, and it’s really nice to bring this into people’s living room. It’s super accurate and I can’t wait for customers to get it in their hands.
However, some users are reporting that it doesn’t quite work as “super accurately” as promised. Specifically it seems that scrolling with the click wheel in a circular motion results in the footage confusingly scrubbing back and forth.
It’s not clear whether this is a software bug of some kind or just unintuitive design on Apple’s part. Apple Insider said that it was able to replicate these issues itself during testing. It reports that the problem isn’t solely found on one specific app, but affects all video apps in the same way.
Hopefully this is something that Apple can address in the near future. Since it’s software-focused, rather than a hardware fault, the hope is that it shouldn’t be too difficult for Apple to fix with an over-the-air software update.
No AirTag-Style Tracking Either
This isn’t the only complaint that has been expressed regarding the 2021 Apple TV+ 4K Siri Remote. Another criticism is that, shortly after releasing Apple’s location-tracking AirTags, the company released a Siri Remote without the necessary UWB technology for tracking.
Considering how often TV remotes get lost, this would have been a great use for Apple’s AirTag tech—and possibly a way of demoing the technology in a way that would have prompted customers to go and pick up an AirTag for use tracking other items. Sadly, it appears that’s not to be!