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Apple's 'next big thing' may be iDevice TV remote, not standalone HDTV

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
While speculation of an Apple-built HDTV has cooled somewhat amid the launch of the iPhone 5 and expected "iPad mini," one analyst says the company's next market disruptor is already here, and it's not a TV.

Remote
Source: Apple


In a research note shared with AppleInsider, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes believes TV remotes, not TVs themselves, may be key to Apple's "next big thing." Apple has more control to expand the total addressable market (TAM) for its mobile products, like the iPhone and iPad, than its competitors, and therefore has the ability to offer innovative software and hardware features at accessible prices.

"We feel one of the best ways to increase the iOS device TAM is by expanding use cases so that every home could use an iOS device as a TV remote," Reitzes writes.

For the near term, Reitzes believes the iPad is the most ripe for TAM expansion, though Apple "needs to make this product better through software - and allow it to control more tasks in your life." The iPad has already enjoyed major success in taking over 60 percent of the tablet market while canibalizing traditional PC sales.

Furthering speculation of the so-called "iPad mini," the analyst notes the much-rumored tablet's smaller 7.85-inch format could be one of the first to expand TAM by becoming a TV remote.

"We believe the 7? screen on iPad mini could be used for traditional content consumption such as reading books or watching movies, but Apple may have bigger plans for this device over time," Reitzes says. "We believe the big secret about Apple?s TV strategy is not the TV itself ? it?s about selling the remotes."

Currently, the remote control capabilites of an iOS device are limited to connected Apple hardware, like the Apple TV or streaming multimedia content wirelessly using AirPlay. A future Apple TV streamer paired with a more functional iPad could be the first steps toward Apple's domination of the living room.

"With iCloud, we don?t see any reason why Apple wouldn?t eventually allow an iPad to be an interface for the TV ? to perform basic computing tasks with a virtual keyboard like checking emails and calendars, surfing websites, editing your PhotoStream and even chat with iMessage," the analyst notes.

Apple TV


Extending the idea into the future, the iPad could one day be used as a "central command" for the digital home, an idea already being tested by home automation companies. Usually, central control of common household items, like lights, HVAC units and TVs, is cost-prohibitive and requires a multitude of bridging devices.

The analyst goes on to say that Apple can easily add features and capabilities to its iPhone, iPod and iPad product lines through software updates, making the devices more desirable, thus driving TAM expansion. An example of a "TAM expander" could be the integration of NFC technology and fingerprint-based security being into the iPhone, a theory that has been floated numerous times since Apple purchased fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec in July.

As for Apple's rumored HDTV, Reitzes expects the product to materialize sometime in the future, with the caveat that it won't do so until the company is able to negotiate amicable licensing terms with content providers.

In August, Apple was rumored to be shopping around a set-top cable box with cloud-based DVR capabilities to major cable companies, though the discussions are reportedly ongoing and an agreement is not expected to arrive until at least 2013.

Reitzes reiterates an "overweight" rating for AAPL stock, with a price target of $810.
post #2 of 43

That'd be great. A 1:1 touchscreen method of interacting with the Apple TV is what we need and what Remote doesn't provide right now.

 

I mean this is neat and all…

 

 

But when the phone is 16:9, just show us what we see on the TV and let us touch it directly!

 

And even when it isn't, the grid on the screen can still be shown.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 43
I said this years ago when iOS came out. With the touch interface the expansion is almost unlimited. Remotes, etc. I think Apple even has patents on some remote designs.
post #4 of 43
Using a touch screen device as a remote just sucks, plan an simple. Why, because it requires you to take your eyes off the TV to use. You can not just feel for the buttons to switch a channel or turn up or down the volume. I have been playing with various software on the IOS which allow you to control various home entertainment systems and I find myself going right back to my every day remote. It nice to use the touch screen to get things turned on and setup, but beyond this it is not easy to use.
post #5 of 43
Anyone who's actually used an iDevice for a remote knows that this is BS. It's handy if you have it in your hand, but it DOESN'T WORK as a remote control replacement. The reason being that you have to wake the device up (and wait three to five seconds) before EVERY use.

You can't just change the volume, you have to pick up the device, wake it up, wait for it to connect, then adjust the volume. If you leave it on the coffee table for 30 seconds, it goes to sleep again and you have to go through the whole thing all over again when you change the volume next time (or do anything at all).
post #6 of 43
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
Why, because it requires you to take your eyes off the TV to use.

 

Siri.

 

And so frigging what you're not glued to the television every femtosecond? Is that the worst thing in the world? Have you seen some of these physical remotes? You're not going to be able to know where everything is by memory, regardless of how you try.

 

Here's the thing, part of the suck of television is the remote. Part is the UI. But let Apple have control of both and you won't need to look at the screen of your touchscreen remote to know how to navigate the UI.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 43
So we have another analyst pulling out of thin air what he thinks Apple's next big thing is. First it was a TV set, then a set to box, now it's a TV remote. It drives me crazy that everytime aWall Street analyst comes up with a thought the Apple rumor sites post it as news.
post #8 of 43
This analyst isn't qualified to be called a technology analyst.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Using a touch screen device as a remote just sucks, plan an simple. Why, because it requires you to take your eyes off the TV to use. You can not just feel for the buttons to switch a channel or turn up or down the volume. I have been playing with various software on the IOS which allow you to control various home entertainment systems and I find myself going right back to my every day remote. It nice to use the touch screen to get things turned on and setup, but beyond this it is not easy to use.

That's a bit of a ridiculous assertion. Almost everyone I know sneaks a glance at the physical buttons on the remote before pressing the buttons. I think you're way overstating the importance taking your off the TV for a nanosecond.

post #10 of 43
There's an app for that. Are there not TV remotes already available as apps?

Yawn...
/
/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #11 of 43
One of the things I like best about how Apple has affected my TV viewing.... their remote is really tiny! I don%u2019t think I could use an iPad Mini as a remote. Even my iPhone feels huge compared to those nice tiny Apple Remotes.

(But those particular remotes' days are numbered: IR will linger for a while, but isn%u2019t the future.)
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Anyone who's actually used an iDevice for a remote knows that this is BS. It's handy if you have it in your hand, but it DOESN'T WORK as a remote control replacement. The reason being that you have to wake the device up (and wait three to five seconds) before EVERY use.
You can't just change the volume, you have to pick up the device, wake it up, wait for it to connect, then adjust the volume. If you leave it on the coffee table for 30 seconds, it goes to sleep again and you have to go through the whole thing all over again when you change the volume next time (or do anything at all).

I use a dedicated iPad and iRule and don't have these issues. Global Cache' ITACH wifi to IR or serial and Ethernet (PoE options) to IR or serial even allow multiple devices to connect and control.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That's a bit of a ridiculous assertion. Almost everyone I know sneaks a glance at the physical buttons on the remote before pressing the buttons. I think you're way overstating the importance taking your off the TV for a nanosecond.

Yes, that half a second of taking your eyes off the screen isn't going to kill you. But, there's a certain ease of use to tactile buttons. You may not know where all the buttons are on the remote, but the most used ones always have a distinct feel (e.g. Ch Up, Ch Down, Volume, Cross-pad for scrolling in guides). And once you become accustom to your own remote, you don't even need to look to hit these common buttons. Just like the Home button, or the volume rocker on your iDevice. I know I don't have to look down, or on the side to hit these buttons... I know the general vicinity of them, and use sense of touch to get the rest of the way. This is the same principle that prevents touch screens from being good for serious or "hardcore" gaming. You need those tactile buttons for easier use.

Now, if they can come up with a slick interface for scrolling and browsing a media library, etc. for the AppleTV or whatever HTPC device, that would be awesome. I have used a few for XBMC on the iPad and they're just OK. But I would have no doubt Apple can come up with a great UI for that.

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarquisMark View Post


Yes, that half a second of taking your eyes off the screen isn't going to kill you. But, there's a certain ease of use to tactile buttons. You may not know where all the buttons are on the remote, but the most used ones always have a distinct feel (e.g. Ch Up, Ch Down, Volume, Cross-pad for scrolling in guides). And once you become accustom to your own remote, you don't even need to look to hit these common buttons. Just like the Home button, or the volume rocker on your iDevice. I know I don't have to look down, or on the side to hit these buttons... I know the general vicinity of them, and use sense of touch to get the rest of the way. This is the same principle that prevents touch screens from being good for serious or "hardcore" gaming. You need those tactile buttons for easier use.
Now, if they can come up with a slick interface for scrolling and browsing a media library, etc. for the AppleTV or whatever HTPC device, that would be awesome. I have used a few for XBMC on the iPad and they're just OK. But I would have no doubt Apple can come up with a great UI for that.

Nothing simple multi-touch features couldn't emulate.  Swipe up for channel change up, swipe two fingers for "page-up", etc. - but of course the whole UI could potentially be so different that it doesn't require the same commands as the standard cable-box UI does.

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That's a bit of a ridiculous assertion. Almost everyone I know sneaks a glance at the physical buttons on the remote before pressing the buttons. I think you're way overstating the importance taking your off the TV for a nanosecond.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Siri.

 

And so frigging what you're not glued to the television every femtosecond? Is that the worst thing in the world? Have you seen some of these physical remotes? You're not going to be able to know where everything is by memory, regardless of how you try.

 

Here's the thing, part of the suck of television is the remote. Part is the UI. But let Apple have control of both and you won't need to look at the screen of your touchscreen remote to know how to navigate the UI.

 

Unless you spent time using a touch screen remote you will not understand. Using a physical remote and a basic one not one they can do everything under the sun, only required Rote Memory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rote_learning to use which Apple has always relayed on with the design of the user interface.

 

So yes I can easily pick up my remote and press the correct button every time and change channel and volume without ever looking at, why because it is easy and also I do not look like fool talking to my TV or remote for that fact. Yeah I know you lonely types spend lots of time alone so talking to your TV is okay. But why talk when you can press one button and do the same thing far faster.

 

Anyway, touch screen remote are nice for doing a serious of command when getting your system set up, but using them all the time is not easy or intuitive. It requires to you to look at them and all the time no rote memory skills can be employed due to lack of a reference point. Also when in a dark room watch a movie pick up a touch screen remote and have your face all lite up by the back light and takes a few moments as your eyes adjust to figure out which part of the displace you need to touch.

 

I have been playing with various remotes for years and I have software on my iPad that controls my entire theater room system including the lighting and such, it nice to get it set up, but beyond that I use the basic remote since it does not required seeing the buttons to change things or hit pause or play during a bathroom break.

 

The thing you have to ask when watching Video on a TV what do you spend most of your time doing and there are plenty of studies out there on this and the majority of the people are changing channels and messing with the volume so those are the primary function of a remote it does 90% of what you need most of the time.


Edited by Maestro64 - 10/9/12 at 3:22pm
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Extending the idea into the future, the iPad could one day be used as a "central command" for the digital home, an idea already being tested by home automation companies. Usually, central control of common household items, like lights, HVAC units and TVs, is cost-prohibitive and requires a multitude of bridging devices.

 

Am I missing something?  I've been using my iPhone as a "central command" for my home for two years:  most lights, HVAC, gate, garage door, etc.  I use Insteon devices and the MobiLinc app.  This isn't a future prediction, this is old news.  

 

Maybe I need a job as an analyst.  I hereby predict that someday we'll be able to use our phones to throw disgruntled birds at architecturally crafty pigs.  

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Anyone who's actually used an iDevice for a remote knows that this is BS. It's handy if you have it in your hand, but it DOESN'T WORK as a remote control replacement. The reason being that you have to wake the device up (and wait three to five seconds) before EVERY use.
You can't just change the volume, you have to pick up the device, wake it up, wait for it to connect, then adjust the volume. If you leave it on the coffee table for 30 seconds, it goes to sleep again and you have to go through the whole thing all over again when you change the volume next time (or do anything at all).

Well, boo effin' hoo!  In my day you'd have to walk allll the way over to the TV and clunk through all three local channels. THEN you'd have to go outside in the rain, snow, or whatever and turn the antenna mast in the direction of the station while someone else yells through the window about the quality of the signal. And don't get me started about the fine tuner adjustment too.

 

Yeah, back then men just didn't flip through a danged tiny remote, they WORKED for their entertainment!

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #18 of 43

My son and I have used the FiOS Remote app on his Nexus to control our cabled TV. I was pretty surprised to find that the cablebox seems to respond faster to the smartphone app input than the standard wand remote, but with that said it's not worth the time and effort to either of us for the most part.

 

I know the primary buttons on the standard remote by feel, never having to glance at it to see the show schedules, adjust the volume, change the channel, search on-demand content or view recorded programs.  It's simply faster and more convenient to me to have physical buttons with unique shapes for various feature calls. The only time I need to actually look at the remote is for some of the seldom-used features.

 

Using the Nexus as a remote has a certain attraction, but easier to use isn't one of them.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That's a bit of a ridiculous assertion. Almost everyone I know sneaks a glance at the physical buttons on the remote before pressing the buttons. I think you're way overstating the importance taking your off the TV for a nanosecond.

Put me in the camp of I also need button or better visual ques. At least for primary functionality.

 

Even the apple tv remote has 3 buttons(actually more because of the directional and combinations)

 

IMO - I like the 'overlay concept'... hate to say it... google may be on to something.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkRail View Post

Am I missing something?  I've been using my iPhone as a "central command" for my home for two years:  most lights, HVAC, gate, garage door, etc.  I use Insteon devices and the MobiLinc app.  This isn't a future prediction, this is old news.  

Maybe I need a job as an analyst.  I hereby predict that someday we'll be able to use our phones to throw disgruntled birds at architecturally crafty pigs.  

He shoulda added, "Control your next-gen Ironman suit."
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Using a touch screen device as a remote just sucks, plan an simple. Why, because it requires you to take your eyes off the TV to use. You can not just feel for the buttons to switch a channel or turn up or down the volume. I have been playing with various software on the IOS which allow you to control various home entertainment systems and I find myself going right back to my every day remote. It nice to use the touch screen to get things turned on and setup, but beyond this it is not easy to use.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That'd be great. A 1:1 touchscreen method of interacting with the Apple TV is what we need and what Remote doesn't provide right now.

 

I mean this is neat and all…

 

But when the phone is 16:9, just show us what we see on the TV and let us touch it directly!

 

And even when it isn't, the grid on the screen can still be shown.

 

The reason why this interface works so well is that you don't have to look at the device to control the TV. You use the device to navigate what's on the TV and the position of the only controls you need (select: normal touch, back: low touch) are incredibly easy to feel without looking on the iPhone. Though if I'm going to play something from my iTunes library, I use the device, because it's easier that way, and that's okay too. So I guess it's fair to say that it'd be nice to have the option of triggering Netflix or Hulu from an iDevice just like you use it to navigate an iTunes library, but if you're going for dead simple, easy to use, obvious control of what's on screen, the Remote app is great.

 

However, I will say that it would be nice if it connected quicker, though I can generally pick up my iPhone or iPad, unlock it and be in the app and connected in 5-10 seconds, which isn't exactly terrible. In any event, I'm assuming that will be changing in the near future with all the talk in the last year or so about AirPlay Direct and Bluetooth chips built into the Apple TV's. But there really are countless ways that I could envision Apple improving the usefulness of the Remote app, especially on the iPad. And while I'm still sure that Apple's been kicking the tires on doing a full blown television set, I really would not be shocked at all if it never materialized and they continued to focus on improving the Apple TV box and remote experience. Until physical media is completely a thing of the past, TV's are still going to be a pain to deal with.

 

More general Apple TV set and AV remote thoughts:

 

The only way I could see Apple truly improving things in the modern living room right now is introducing a box that had a Blu-Ray drive, IR beamers to control a cable box and HDMI inputs for managing any other external sources like video games.

 

And can anyone see that happening? Yeah, I didn't think so.

 

But until you give Apple the ability to control the source selection (like an A/V receiver) and bypass any given physical disc player's shitty interface with something simple and obvious of their own, I don't see things getting much better anytime soon. As much as I hate physical media personally and barely use it at all these days, too many people still do, and even if an iDevice could mimic another device's control, it doesn't mean the software baked into the disc player's hardware is going to measure up. And this is why I just don't think Apple will really do a true TV anytime soon. Apple's done with physical media, as they should be, but most people aren't yet, and there's no simple way to rectify that like there was with importing CDs into iTunes.

 

Even if people aren't buying movies on disc much anymore, they still likely have libraries that they want to be able to watch at least in the next 3-5 years still. Is Apple going to have an option that allows for this seamlessly without having to rely on a 3rd party player? I doubt it. And while the slightly more standardized nature of channel lineups and schedules would allow Apple to control a cable box with beamers, is that really an elegant solution? Absolutely not.

 

Apple could no doubt come out with a killer TV set with a killer interface and brilliant control and delivery of streamed content and even cable-service content if we're just talking about the hardware technology and software, but it's not even remotely that simple. The licensing is too complicated and the content and service providers have no interest in playing ball anyways. And again, if they aren't willing to provide backwards-compatibility of sorts for DVDs and Blu-Rays, 99.9% of potential buyers will be connecting the same old shitty players with terrible UIs into a TV that only makes it easier to select the input. That's a shit solution, which is why Apple either includes a disc player or just skips TV for a few more years when importing our movie collections into iTunes is as easy as it was to import our music collections. By that time the amount of informed people with extremely fast internet speeds and seemingly limitless hard drive space should be large enough that the movie studios really feel the full force of the "Napster" effect and start loosening up their licensing issues and allowing Apple to at least provide a solution for importing DVD and Blu-Ray collections into iTunes without the use of relatively complicated (to more mainstream users) 3rd party software and "illegal" copy-protection bypassing.

 

Until then, I really don't expect Apple to do a whole lot more than to continue to build upon the Apple TV box we know today. For those that are a bit more tech savvy and ahead of the curve, this really is a wonderful solution. I have 3 Apple TV's now and besides sports, it's really all I use to view content. But it's a lot more work for me to make it work well than it should be, though I know that's no fault of Apple's. Like I said, this isn't about technology or software or hardware limitations, this is purely about licensing and dealmaking. 

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That's a bit of a ridiculous assertion. Almost everyone I know sneaks a glance at the physical buttons on the remote before pressing the buttons. I think you're way overstating the importance taking your off the TV for a nanosecond.

Actually, I think maestro is right on the money. If you're watching TV you are watching TV. Looking away from it is a distraction to that. I don't think Apple would be silly enough to go down this road anyway. This is just some analyst doing why they normally do😴

iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

 

 

Unless you spent time using a touch screen remote you will not understand. Using a physical remote and a basic one not one they can do everything under the sun, only required Rote Memory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rote_learning to use which Apple has always relayed on with the design of the user interface.

 

So yes I can easily pick up my remote and press the correct button every time and change channel and volume without ever looking at, why because it is easy and also I do not look like fool talking to my TV or remote for that fact. Yeah I know you lonely types spend lots of time alone so talking to your TV is okay. But why talk when you can press one button and do the same thing far faster.

 

Anyway, touch screen remote are nice for doing a serious of command when getting your system set up, but using them all the time is not easy or intuitive. It requires to you to look at them and all the time no rote memory skills can be employed due to lack of a reference point. Also when in a dark room watch a movie pick up a touch screen remote and have your face all lite up by the back light and takes a few moments as your eyes adjust to figure out which part of the displace you need to touch.

 

I have been playing with various remotes for years and I have software on my iPad that controls my entire theater room system including the lighting and such, it nice to get it set up, but beyond that I use the basic remote since it does not required seeing the buttons to change things or hit pause or play during a bathroom break.

 

The thing you have to ask when watching Video on a TV what do you spend most of your time doing and there are plenty of studies out there on this and the majority of the people are changing channels and messing with the volume so those are the primary function of a remote it does 90% of what you need most of the time.

 

Except most people end up having a coffee table full of physical remotes that do different things. Try introducing an A/V receiver in the mix and it's even more fun. I can't tell you how many people I know that don't realize their TV remote doesn't control their receivers volume, or that their TV remote doesn't control the receiver's input. These people aren't even thinking about programming a universal remote or a learning remote. It's just a dismal, confusing situation. And I did high-end home theater install for a good while throughout high school and college, so I've seen some stuff. Even when we'd get people set up with Home Theater Masters or Phillips Prontos or Logitech Harmonys or yada yada yada, some people found a way to screw them up. It was just a never ending mess.

 

But anyways, I still think there's a lot to be said for the basic Apple Remote apps stupid simple control interface. You don't need physical buttons to know how to select, play, pause as you simple tap anywhere on the control pad. Tap your thumb in the most obvious way on the screen and you'll be able to go forward. Tap on the bottom section of the screen and you'll go back. If people can't "feel" that, then I literally think they have an agenda and/or are being aggressively close-minded and difficult. Tap anywhere on the the top 75% of the screen where your thumb naturally rests to select/play/pause, and head to the very generous middle of the bottom half to go back. That is just as dead simple as it gets.

 

And what do you need to see to be able to use gestures? Swipe up, down, left or right to navigate, shockingly, up, down, left, or right. I never have to look at my iPhone or even iPad to control my Apple TV with the Remote App 99% of the time.

 

Now, how would this work with an actual TV channel interface? Why couldn't I just swipe left and right to change channels and swipe up and down to adjust the volume? That seems pretty obvious and natural to me. What if wanted to bring up the guide? What about a command like "touch and hold" or "double-tap"? One of those could be used to trigger an overlay for show/channel info and scrubbing so you can rewind or fast-forward using basic left and right gestures. And could you imagine a guide with inertia scrolling that responded to our simple up, down, left and right gestures as opposed to having to use arrow and page-up/down buttons? One step further...what if the gesture-based channel changing responded to inertia as well and brought up a visual mini-guide of sorts (think Cover Flow) with channel logos and current show title to cycle through? 

 

And let's not forget that the remote does have two smaller buttons on the lower 25% section mentioned above on the left and the right. While not as obvious as "select" and "back," once you know that they're there, they're extremely easy to hit without having to look. Again, that's a huge benefit with the iPhone fitting in the hand so well; the focus on one-handed use makes it very easy for them to have obvious target points for the thumb to be able to find naturally. And considering that the "play/pause" button is ultimately kinda redundant, that could also be used to trigger something like muting. One of those areas could also be used to trigger the guide, leaving one of the "touch and hold" or "double-tap" commands to muting, which might be a little more obvious.

 

Bottom line: you don't need to look at the device or even know much about how it works to figure a remote like that out. It's an incredibly simple, obvious remote that is insanely easy to use. Anything requiring "heavier lifting" is most likely going to require looking at a remote anyways, and as you said, a touch screen is great for that as it can display any information necessary to make any adjustment. And while this isn't an expectation that I would have for anyone else, I can get to my Apple Remote app on my iPhone without looking at it easily. I keep it on the bottom right corner of my home screen. So worst case scenario: home button, slide to unlock, home button, home button, tap bottom right of the screen, boom, Remote App. No Siri necessary. Worst-worst case is I have to change which Apple TV I'm controlling. I still say that beats having a million controllers lying around. Oh, and the main Remote App control interface is dark-gray, and thus doesn't produce a tremendous amount of glow, so I feel that point is pretty petty. They do need to improve the connectivity which I think they'll eventually do, but other than that, it's a wonderfully simple solution that's got a lot of potential to work great for standard TV watching.

 

One more thing...

 

What happens when you double-tap your iPhone or iPad while locked? Basic media controls come up. Also, Apple added the Camera shortcut to the lock screen in iOS 5. What if when double-tapping from lock to get the media controls, the camera shortcut became a Remote shortcut? Given that AirPlay is automatically recognized when connected to a network featuring the Apple TV's, it would be easy for this to be implemented on a network with devices with Home Sharing enabled. Furthermore, I would imagine with Bluetooth integration coming or maybe this Airplay Direct stuff, it might be able to default to controlling the Apple TV nearest to your physical location, which will most likely be the one you want to control.

 

You give me what the Apple TV does now, add the TV functionality I mentioned and the enhancements to the basic Remote app, connectivity and the shortcuts, and to me, you have a near-perfect simple solution. Give me that in a TV that works more like a computer monitor that automatically turns itself on based on my triggering and I'll call it perfect...at least for me.

post #24 of 43

Apple making a TV remote is lame. Apple needs to build awesome robotic pets.

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post #25 of 43
Originally Posted by Commodification View Post
Apple making a TV remote is lame. Apple needs to build awesome robotic pets.

 

I want to own an animatronic Utahraptor before I die. Screw bicycles and cars. Ride around on that sucker!

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Anyone who's actually used an iDevice for a remote knows that this is BS. It's handy if you have it in your hand, but it DOESN'T WORK as a remote control replacement. The reason being that you have to wake the device up (and wait three to five seconds) before EVERY use.
You can't just change the volume, you have to pick up the device, wake it up, wait for it to connect, then adjust the volume. If you leave it on the coffee table for 30 seconds, it goes to sleep again and you have to go through the whole thing all over again when you change the volume next time (or do anything at all).

You DO know you can set the auto-lock to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes and "never", right?... You have used an iPhone, an iPad or an iPod, no?
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I want to own an animatronic Utahraptor before I die. Screw bicycles and cars. Ride around on that sucker!

Everything Apple makes now is just another rectangle screen that gives us another way to watch TV/video. We need something rad that actually 'thinks different' and can stalk neighborhood pets.

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post #28 of 43
Quote:
gcom006
You makes a lot of points. Some logical, some subjective.
It's seems the logical solution, and perhaps a stepping stone would be, to update the remote.app to include more functionality. I agree this would probably be the best solution for apple and I can easily see more ATV information being passed onto the remote.app.

To me though, the most dead simple UI of any iDevice Apple has produced that could possibly be adapted into a stand-alone remote control is the iPod classic interface. The simple menu structure combined with the click-wheel was very easy to learn and manipulate. Funny enough, it almost exactly like the first ATV interface was, before the icon screen. I always said what that cute flat remotes needed was volume, tv input, and a click-wheel, and that would work just fine for me.

I personally never use the remote.app. Takes too long to activate/wake. If you want to pause, FF, RW or anything that requires immediate input, the cute thin remote is the better source...and an instant fail for the remote.app. Even though the UI is incredibly simple and almost identical to the tactile remote, the wake time and lack of tactile feedback make it considerably less useful as a remote. The only case where I find it remotely useful is when needing to search in YouTube or entering usernames and passwords for various account settings.

I'd rather see a new remote, stand-alone device. When the leaks of the current iPod nano were in the ether, I was kind of hoping this was the new ATV remote. Seems like the right size and shape. It has both tactile and touch interface too. Just seems right to me. However I might have added a click-wheel around the home button. I can easily see that as the future of he remote for ATV. Combination of touch and button input.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macncheez View Post

You DO know you can set the auto-lock to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes and "never", right?... You have used an iPhone, an iPad or an iPod, no?
Good call, but using the remote.app on your iDevice is a conditional thing. 9 times out of 10 you're gonna forget to set the auto lock back to what you normally use.

Unrelated to your post...TS. What's with the Siri name dropping? I thought you had posted a billion-and-one times you hated that idea, as do I with a passion. Would never work well and be more annoying than effective.

Another unrelated topic to my reply...and probably a "duh" moment for some. You all do realize the ATV has something buried in the settings menu call "learn my remote" that allows you to use whatever remote control you'd like to control your ATV. Like your tv, DVD or AV receiver remote. I've tried it, but the feedback on the remote end actually lags a bit and my other remotes aren't as thin and light as the proprietary remote. So it goes unused. Thought I'd mention for all who don't diving too deep in the settings menus.
post #30 of 43
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post
Unrelated to your post...TS. What's with the Siri name dropping? I thought you had posted a billion-and-one times you hated that idea, as do I with a passion. Would never work well and be more annoying than effective.

 

Oh, that's right, isn't it? I'm just gonna go curl up in a ball and weep now. 

 

Think of it as playing devil's advocate or covering all the bases, if you will. I suppose there could be an intelligent system whereby you hit the button for Siri and the TV mutes automatically while you give it commands, but still. 

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Well, boo effin' hoo!  In my day you'd have to walk allll the way over to the TV and clunk through all three local channels. THEN you'd have to go outside in the rain, snow, or whatever and turn the antenna mast in the direction of the station while someone else yells through the window about the quality of the signal. And don't get me started about the fine tuner adjustment too.

 

Yeah, back then men just didn't flip through a danged tiny remote, they WORKED for their entertainment!

 

Ah yes... the good old days when people in the Western world had a BMI of 18.5 to 25.

post #32 of 43

Selling remotes. Now that sounds exciting.
 

post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Siri.

 

And so frigging what you're not glued to the television every femtosecond? Is that the worst thing in the world? Have you seen some of these physical remotes? You're not going to be able to know where everything is by memory, regardless of how you try.

 

Here's the thing, part of the suck of television is the remote. Part is the UI. But let Apple have control of both and you won't need to look at the screen of your touchscreen remote to know how to navigate the UI.


"You are doing it wrong!"

post #34 of 43

Here is what siri might be able to do:  "Turn on the Nationals Game."  Siri would parse that, know that it is on MLB network, and change to the right channel.  If you tell it what you want to watch, it could figure out what channel.  When you have 200+ channels, that is a big deal. 

 

I would love to use my phone as a remote.  I use it with FiOS, and my apple TV, with favorable results.

post #35 of 43
Apple doing a remote control for OTHER companies gear?

Yea, what part of that just screams out ... "BS!"

I mean really, this coming out from the same company that refuses to add a blu-ray drive to it's ATV?

Apple isn't going to take all of their design genius and expend it on trying to make other hardware operate better. Just look at scads of different devices that all offer their own jumble of assorted commands that may or may not be accessible via IR.

Lets start with something simple... Like a single button to turn ON all the devices you intend to use while watching a Blu-ray Disc. We fail right away!

A rare few devices have distinct ON and distinct OFF via IR, however the lion share falls back to a toggled ON/OFF using a single IR code. Translation, turning everything ON or OFF becomes impossible given the unknown state of each unit,

I'm not saying apple couldn't design one hell of a remote control even with the odd legacy IR commands they were forced to work with but frankly it still goes against their entire philosophy of controlling the whole user experience by engineering not just great software but great hardware to go with it.
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post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post


The only way I could see Apple truly improving things in the modern living room right now is introducing a box that had a Blu-Ray drive, IR beamers to control a cable box and HDMI inputs for managing any other external sources like video games.

And can anyone see that happening? Yeah, I didn't think so.

But until you give Apple the ability to control the source selection (like an A/V receiver) and bypass any given physical disc player's shitty interface with something simple and obvious of their own, I don't see things getting much better anytime soon. As much as I hate physical media personally and barely use it at all these days, too many people still do, and even if an iDevice could mimic another device's control, it doesn't mean the software baked into the disc player's hardware is going to measure up. And this is why I just don't think Apple will really do a true TV anytime soon. Apple's done with physical media, as they should be, but most people aren't yet, and there's no simple way to rectify that like there was with importing CDs into iTunes.


Since you asked... yes... I wrote this post slightly less than a year ago stating the same thing:

If we're down to talking about a box... is it possible that Apple's engineers have found a way through various technologies, to intercept the signals through HDMI or S-cable, and IR from the cable remote, to take over the functions of just about anything that passes through it? Thus having the ability to present it, record it, time-shift it using a familiar Apple UI? Naturally connected through the Internet to facilitate the EPG functions, and remote control from any iOS device?

Is that possible... or even legal within the HDMI and DMCA laws in place?


Full post 9. Dec. 2011
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #37 of 43

I've played around with using my iPhone as a remote and while it is a novel idea it isn't perfect. Not only is the response time not as quick, but sometimes I'm USING the device. I don't see this ever being the only solution to having a remote for the device because at the end of the day an iPad or iPhone can be used on their own. If I had to stop using my phone (or iPad if I had one) every time my daughter wanted to change the channel she would drive me crazy. Not only are they things we do not leave out (with a 1 year old in the house), they are also things that we use quite frequently.

 

Plus there would be a level of annoyance to having 3-4 TVs in a home. You would never have these devices located for channel changing as needed, so you would have to switch which TV you are controlling to manage what you are doing.

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Apple doing a remote control for OTHER companies gear?
Yea, what part of that just screams out ... "BS!"
I mean really, this coming out from the same company that refuses to add a blu-ray drive to it's ATV?
Apple isn't going to take all of their design genius and expend it on trying to make other hardware operate better. Just look at scads of different devices that all offer their own jumble of assorted commands that may or may not be accessible via IR.
Lets start with something simple... Like a single button to turn ON all the devices you intend to use while watching a Blu-ray Disc. We fail right away!
A rare few devices have distinct ON and distinct OFF via IR, however the lion share falls back to a toggled ON/OFF using a single IR code. Translation, turning everything ON or OFF becomes impossible given the unknown state of each unit,
I'm not saying apple couldn't design one hell of a remote control even with the odd legacy IR commands they were forced to work with but frankly it still goes against their entire philosophy of controlling the whole user experience by engineering not just great software but great hardware to go with it.

While the above statement is most definitely true as it stands "today"... the very fact is that even Apple realizes that they're banging their heads up against a very thick wall here. That's not to mention the millions of consumer "walls" out there with all manner of set ups, both new and legacy.

My post above imagines if Apple could intercept the signals, whether IR or through HDMI. At the time I wrote my original post, I didn't have time to research the possibility. Also, as technology advances, it's possible that there are ways to do this previously not available even a year ago. I actually think an Apple TV with an IR receptor built in, then being able to reprogram it within the settings, is doable even now. Any iOS device and/or Apple Remote could then connect to the AppleTV as they do now, and control the entire system.

* Just wanted to throw in here that Apple has played around with touch controls on the back of their iOS devices, and possibly has a patent or 2. to do the same. Also, their is absolutely no reason whatsoever why Apple couldn't put simple playback controls on the lock screen through an iOS update, similar to the photo slideshow button now, with no unlock necessary.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


My post above imagines if Apple could intercept the signals, whether IR or through HDMI. At the time I wrote my original post, I didn't have time to research the possibility. Also, as technology advances, it's possible that there are ways to do this previously not available even a year ago.

CEC is the technology your speaking of... Control over HDMI a standard intended to bring all control under one umbrella. Unfortunately like all things CE related something went horribly wrong from the drawing board to the implementation and CEC is only SLIGHTLY less screwed up than the abortion know as IR.

Every vendor claims its own permutation and only uses it to upsell all the various CE components by way of 'elegant control' but ONLY if you buy everything from the same CE brand.
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post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Oh, that's right, isn't it? I'm just gonna go curl up in a ball and weep now. 

You're a bitter, bitter person.

Quote:
I suppose there could be an intelligent system whereby you hit the button for Siri and the TV mutes automatically while you give it commands, but still. 

And that's a good idea why?

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