The Apple TV Siri Remote isn’t everyone’s favourite means of navigating a television interface. For starters, the glass touchpad is very sensitive and often imprecise, while many users still aren’t motivated to make full use of the hit or miss voice commands. It’s also very fragile and can break very easily without a case.
And it appears Apple is well aware of the desire for a more traditional option, with reports claiming it collaborated with a little-known Swiss provider on an alternate remote.
The Salt provider in Switzerland offers an Apple TV 4K with its 250+ television channel bundle, but is offering an alternative remote featuring more buttons, no touchpad and no microphone button for Siri voice commands.
Related: Apple TV 4K review
Instead there are traditional media playback buttons and channel rocker buttons, which don’t appear on the official version. According to reports in the country (via MacRumors), Apple was in close contact with the provider over the new remote, which costs just 20 Swiss francs (around £15), compared to the £60 Apple charges for a replacement Siri Remote.
The product listing says: “Salt has designed a simple and efficient remote control to help our customers make their first steps with the Apple TV product.” The remote features an IR blaster to ensure it can be used to control the majority of television sets, as well as the Apple TV box.
Apple has long given Apple TV owners the opportunity to control their Apple TV through alternate means, via the Remote app for iOS. This is particularly handy for typing in passwords on a touchscreen rather than doing it manually via the Apple TV.
Apple also opened up the tvOS platform to the Sony DualShock 4 and Xbox One wireless controllers for use with the new Apple Arcade subscription service. It’s unlikely the Salt remote will go on sale in the UK, but the door may be open for more third-party manufacturers to come up with their own alternatives.