Siri Remote Overview Updated November 27, 2021

Siri Remote (2021): Here’s everything you need to know

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15 'Siri Remote' stories

September 2015 - May 2021

The Siri Remote is the main accessory for the Apple TV. While Apple’s set-top box hasn’t changed much over the years, the Siri Remote has gone through multiple iterations.

History

The Siri Remote combines with the history of the Apple TV. Although Apple’s set-top box always had a remote, it was only called “Siri Remote” starting with the fourth-generation Apple TV in 2015.

The original Apple Remote from 2006 was made of white plastic and designed with six buttons, resembling the first-generation iPod shuffle.

In 2009, the remote received its first redesign but it launched without a new Apple TV, being released alongside the 27-inch iMac and multi-touch Magic Mouse. The aluminum model was made available one year later with the second-generation Apple TV and remained the same in the third-generation Apple TV. It was rebranded and redesigned in 2015 with the fourth generation of the set-top-box and called Siri Remote.

The first version of the Siri Remote wasn’t well-received. Made with a mix of aluminum and glass, it had a beautiful design, but could easily crack when dropped on the floor. It was also hard to know which way to point to the set-top box. Its touchpad was also complicated to use. Most of the time, the pointer moved instead of clicking.

When Apple introduced the fifth-generation Apple TV in September of 2017, the Siri Remote received a white circle around the Menu button.

With Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event in April of 2021, the company unveiled the second-generation Apple TV 4K with a brand new Siri Remote. With more buttons, it resembles a mix of the first Apple Remote models. Like all the other this new accessory charges via Lightning.

Siri Remote inspired by iPod click wheel

In an interview with Apple Vice President of Product Marketing for Home and Audio Tim Twerdahl, the new remote is inspired by the iPod click wheel:

“Once we came up with this circular design we thought it looked a lot like the iPod quick wheel, so what could do that could really help people with their TV using an interface like that? The scrubbing of the 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.

He also praised Siri on the new Remote, as the virtual assistance has a dedicated button on the right-hand side of it:

“We want to make it super easy to engage with Apple TV regardless of your comfort level. If you hit the Siri button on your remote and don’t say anything some suggestions will cycle through on the TV screen to help you understand the kinds of things you could say. By moving the Siri button to the side – where it is on your iPhone – we’re hoping that also reinforces with people as you can do exactly the same kind of things on your iPhone as your Apple TV remote.”

Siri Remote Specs and Features

The second-generation Siri Remote is made of aluminum and rubber buttons. It has a microphone for Siri, an IR transmitter, a Lightning connector for charging, and uses Bluetooth 5.0 technology. According to Apple:

“The Siri Remote (2nd generation) brings precise control to your Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. Its all-new touch-enabled clickpad lets you click titles, swipe through playlists, and use a circular gesture on the outer ring to find just the scene you’re looking for. And with Siri, you can find what you want to watch using just your voice.”

The new accessory has a total of eight buttons if you count the clickpad as only one button. Here’s what every button does:

  • Power button: turn the Apple TV on/off
  • Clickpad: it’s possible to use it clicking or swiping the finger, like on the iPod Classic
  • <: Previous page
  • TV icon: Opens the Apple TV app
  • Play/pause
  • Mute
  • Volume
  • Siri button: on the right side, there’s a dedicated button to invoke Siri

Although it was rumored, the second-generation Siri Remote doesn’t have a U1 chip to help users find the accessory when it gets lost on the couch. According to Apple VP Tim Twerdahl, the thicker design of the remote chassis means it won’t get lost in couch cushions as much as the previous generation. Read more about it here.

How to control your TV and receiver with the Apple TV Siri Remote

In a best-case scenario, when you plug in your Apple TV to the HDMI on your TV or receiver, the Siri Remote (new and old) will automatically be set up to power on/off the set-top box, TV/receiver, control volume, and switch to the correct HDMI input that Apple TV is connected to.

  • On the all-new Siri Remote, press the power button to turn on your TV/receiver and Apple TV
  • Press and hold the power button to turn everything off (you can still press and hold the screen icon button > Sleep)
  • On the old Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote:
    • Click the main trackpad to turn everything on
    • Press and hold the screen icon button > Sleep to turn everything off
  • The volume controls should work to control whatever speakers you have set up (internal, external, HomePod, etc.)
  • On the iOS Apple TV Remote in Control Center:
    • You can tap the Menu button on the iOS Apple TV Remote to power on your TV/receiver and Apple TV from iPhone or iPad
    • You can also use physical volume buttons on your iPhone/iPad to control the Apple TV volume
    • Press and hold the display icon > Sleep to power everything off

Another benefit of the new Apple TV 4K is audio return channel (ARC/eARC) support. Particularly for HomePod owners, that means you can push all of your TV audio (even from other devices) through HomePod.

See more tips and tricks here.

Pricing

The Siri Remote pricing is $59.

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

Release Date

The second-generation Apple TV 4K is already available. It launched on May 21 of 202 and is backward compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

Review

In our Siri Remote review, 9to5Mac Benjamin Mayo wrote that this new remote makes everyone happy:

The best argument for the new remote is that my family is no longer frustrated when they sit down to watch TV. I also observed that everyone seems more open to trying to swipe around and utilize the trackpad to its full effect, now that they aren’t worried about accidentally triggering it. In a somewhat counterintuitive fashion, the return of buttons to this remote has increased the usage of the trackpad. I take that as an indicator of a successful design.

If you have an Apple TV, the new Siri Remote is 100% recommended. It will make everyone happy, apart from perhaps your wallet. But as an Apple TV user, frankly, you are used to that.

Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on Siri Remote and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Third-party certified Apple TV Remote

In August of 2021, Deutsche Telekom started offering a third-party certified Apple TV Remote. This is the first company to offer Universal Electronics’ remote control to customers who purchase a new Apple TV 4K directly with the carrier with a Magenta TV subscription.

The alternative Siri Remote from Universal Electronics looks more like a classic TV remote control since it does not have a trackpad and comes with buttons for switching channels and accessing the TV guide. However, it also includes all the buttons needed to navigate through tvOS, including the Siri button and even a built-in microphone.

Siri Remote Stories May 26

With new Apple products officially launched, iFixit is now tearing down them. Its latest video is about the new Apple TV 4K and the second-generation Siri Remote, and it turns out the new Siri Remote is not at all easy to repair.

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Siri Remote Stories May 24

When Apple announced the new Apple TV 4K, users were eager to buy the redesigned Siri Remote. In fact, over 30% of our readers were only interested in the remote. With new hardware already available, users are having trouble with the scrolling function on the second-generation Siri Remote.

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Siri Remote Stories May 22

With new Apple products available to all customers, Apple VP of Product Marketing for Home and Audio Tim Twerdahl sat with Express to talk about the new “future-proofing” Apple TV 4K and its second-generation Siri Remote, which was inspired by the iPod.

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Siri Remote Stories April 22

Along with the new sixth-generation Apple TV announced during Apple’s special event on Tuesday, the company introduced a new version of the Siri Remote. Despite the new design, the new Siri Remote lacks some sensors that may be missed by some users: the accelerometer and gyroscope.

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Siri Remote Stories March 29

We’ve been hearing rumors about the next-generation Apple TV for a while now, but we don’t know when the company plans to officially announce it. Now 9to5Mac has learned that Apple is developing a new Remote for Apple TV, which corroborates some previous rumors about Apple updating the Siri Remote.

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Siri Remote Stories June 13, 2016

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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Siri Remote Stories March 21, 2016

Apple TV tvOS 9.2

The fourth generation Apple TV has even been on the market for less than six months and there’s already a massive update ready for it. The new tvOS 9.2 software update is now available and includes several features that previously hadn’t made it from Apple TV 3 as well as features totally new to the platform.

You can now use Siri Remote to dictate text for search queries, usernames, and even passwords, and Bluetooth keyboards are once again supported for easier text entry. Apple TV apps can now be grouped into folders so you can keep games together, and iCloud Photo Library subscribers can view complete photo and video collections on the big screen. Here’s the full rundown on everything new in tvOS 9.2 for the new Apple TV:

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Siri Remote Stories February 23, 2016

Apple TV video scrubbing

Apple is currently testing a change in how the Siri Remote interacts with the new Apple TV. The change is available on the latest tvOS 9.2 beta, which is expected to be released around next month’s March 15th event. Starting with tvOS 9.2 beta 4, Apple has changed how you scrub through video during playback. Why does that matter? Two reasons:

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Siri Remote Stories January 19, 2016

apple tv 4 search 2

Recent software updates have really turned me on to the new Apple TV by adding features previously available on the last generation set-top box. The new Apple TV has redesigned apps and a whole App Store for finding new channels and games, a new Siri Remote with voice search that pulls in content from a handful of services, and there’s the full Apple Music experience too. The tvOS 9.1 update added Siri search for Apple Music ahead of schedule and brought support for Apple’s Remote app on iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. The upcoming tvOS 9.2 update goes even further by bringing over an updated Podcasts app and adding app folders and a refreshed app switcher user interface. But there’s still just one more piece of low-hanging fruit left for the Apple TV to grab …

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Siri Remote Stories January 4, 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of Jeremy’s 5, my latest quick roundup of 5 interesting little things that aren’t big enough for full articles, but are still worth sharing with you.

My first edition of 2016 looks at two separate topics related to this week’s 2016 CES: first, Apple’s continued absence from the show, and second, the annual event’s seemingly declining interest to Apple fans. I also wanted to share some additional thoughts on Apple’s Remote Loop for the new Apple TV’s Siri Remote, the classic (but ever-evolving) iOS app Akinator the Genie, and the continued scourge of free-to-play games…

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Siri Remote Stories December 9, 2015

apple-tv-siri-2

Yesterday Apple released tvOS 9.1 for the new fourth-gen Apple TV which adds support for the Remote app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch just like the previous Apple TV model. This makes setup and text input much easier from iPhones and iPads as you can use the software keyboard versus relying on swiping left and right across a keyboard, but many have wondered if Apple would update the Remote app to offer features more like the new Siri Remote for Apple TV. Apple’s Eddy Cue says the answer is definitely, speaking with Buzzfeed, and it’s coming during the first half of next year…

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Siri Remote Stories November 4, 2015

appletvui1

While Siri voice search is a core feature of the new Apple TV, right now it’s limited to only eight countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. In other regions, the Siri Remote is simply called the Apple TV Remote (not to be confused with the old Apple TV Remote) and pressing the mic button just opens the Search app.

This is despite the fact Siri on iPhone is actually available in 30 countries, so it wasn’t clear why Apple had pinpointed only a subset of those. It turns out, according to a chat with Apple by MacPrime, that there are some clever optimizations Apple makes with Apple TV Siri to improve speech recognition.

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Siri Remote Stories November 2, 2015

remoteloop-0

As Nintendo’s ultra-popular Wii demonstrated back in 2006, adding motion sensors to a remote control can be fun — and dangerous for your TV when you start swinging the controller around during gameplay. Since the fourth-generation Apple TV supports games and its new Siri Remote includes motion sensors, Apple came up with its own safety solution: the Remote Loop, not surprisingly sold separately as a $13 accessory.

Our galleries below show what you can expect from the Remote Loop, including its packaging, the metal spikes it uses to grip the Siri Remote’s Lightning port, and the earlier Apple inspiration for its choice of fabrics….

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Siri Remote Stories September 15, 2015

apple-tv-siri

One of the standout features of the new Apple TV is its support for gaming, but now Apple has reversed its stance and placed a new limitation on that capability. Apple has said from the beginning that third-party controllers will be supported on the new Apple TV. The SDK for the device carries Game Controller support and the company mentioned it on stage at its unveil event. Apple also mentioned that games that worked only with third-party controllers were okay, meaning the games wouldn’t necessarily have to be compatible with the company’s bundled Siri Remote. Now, however, Apple says that games can not require the use of third-party controllers.

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