Apple’s WWDC 2016 keynote has just wrapped up, and developer downloads are starting to hit Apple’s Developer site. One of those is the first beta of Apple’s new Remote app with built-in Siri. Apple has put a heavy focus on making sure the new Remote app can replicate and do everything the Siri Remote can, without having to switch away from your iOS device.
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The first beta of the Apple TV Remote app allows you to navigate through the Apple TV with touch gestures, ask Siri to find something on the Apple TV, dictate text (great for user names and passwords), enter text with the keyboard, play games using the iOS device’s accelerometer, and control content from the Now Playing screen. The new Remote app on iOS also includes a Game Mode with simple gaming controls that can be used on your iOS device when it’s in landscape orientation.
I tested the new Remote app functionality with my iOS 9.3.3 beta iPhone 6 and my fourth-gen Apple TV running tvOS 9.2.1. It doesn’t look like an update to either of these systems is required to take advantage of the new app. When I initially launched the app I was requested to pair it with my Apple TV which it found on the network fairly quickly. Once paired I was dropped into the main view. It’s a sparse screen with little to see, but it matches the physical design of the Siri Remote.
When an Apple TV game is launched, the main view adds a small gaming controller icon at the top of the view. Tapping that brings you directly into a simplified controller view, allowing you to hold the iOS device into a comfortable landscape orientation to play the game. I tested this out with Alto’s Adventure and it seems to operate smoothly.
A breakdown introduction to the new Apple Remote app is available below from Apple’s Apple TV Remote release notes.
The new Apple TV Remote app is a great companion to Apple TV, delivering the best of the Siri Remote. With Apple TV Remote, you’ll never need to put down your iOS device while enjoying Apple TV. You can also use the app along with the Siri Remote to compete in multi-player games. Features include:
- Navigating Apple TV with touch gestures
- Asking Siri to find something great to watch, listen to, or play
- Dictating text, including user names and passwords
- Entering text with the keyboard
- Playing games using the accelerometer and gyroscope on your iOS device
- Game Mode with simplified game controls, available while holding your iOS device in a landscape orientation
- Controlling the movie, TV show, or song that’s currently playing in the Now Playing screen
The new Apple TV Remote app requires Apple TV (4th generation), running tvOS 9.2.1 or later and iOS devices running iOS 9.3.2 or later. It is designed for use with iPhone and iPod touch, but is also compatible with iPad.
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The new Apple TV Remote app can be downloaded from the official Apple developer site.