At today’s Apple Event, the company announced a redesigned Apple TV, including a remote that should alleviate some common complaints users have about the existing Apple TV controller.
While the current remote requires a lot of use of a swipe pad, the new remote appears more tactile, with a circular pad near the top that should make navigation easier. It also includes a power button, which Apple says will allow you to turn your TV off and on. (Currently, the Apple TV “wakes” your television or turns it off when the Apple TV unit itself is powered up or down.)
Another excellent upgrade is the ring around that direction pad - it can be used to jog forward or backward through a video, which is a huge improvement over the clunky swiping or clicking users currently deal with. The Siri button has been moved to the side of the remote. The remote also finally (finally!) features a mute button. Its outer shell is made of recycled aluminum.
One surprising missing feature is there is no support for a “Find My”, which would have been a nice addition if you lose your remote in your couch cushions. You can purchase the new Apple TV remote separately for $59.99 if you don’t need a new Apple TV, which will work on the current Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K.
The new device also allows you to color balance your TV set in tandem with the light sensors on your iPhone to make sure you’re getting the best color setting. You’ll hold the iPhone up to the TV, and it will communicate with the Apple TV device to control the color result.
Apple says the new Apple TV will feature support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Vision video and high frame-rate (60 fps) videos, which should allow for a more lifelike picture. Apple is working with providers including FOX Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV, and Canal+, as they begin to stream in high frame rate HDR.
The new Apple TV 4K is available for order on April 30 and will go out to customers in the second half of May. The 32 GB version is $179, the 64 GB version is $199.