Compared: Apple's second-generation Siri Remote versus predecessors

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  • Reply 21 of 29
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,809member
    Graeme000 said:
    I have also really loved the Siri remote and never had an issue with the touchpad. Scrolling through things quickly is so easy. And using Siri instead of typing something in, then using the touch to adjust it if necessary, really has never been a problem. So much easier than using buttons on a remote. 
    The version of Siri on the remote seems to be one of the better ones. It saves me a ton of time versus typing or (maximum form of torture) using the on-screen strip-of-letters text entry method. That thing is like one of those games they put on the tables at Cracker Barrel, you know, games that are not fun but tedious.

    I wish Siri search & queries worked as well on other platforms. The Siri turn by turn driving directions in Apple Car Play are pretty good and getting better all the time, but the search, command, and query stuff can be horribly bad. “Hey Siri, driving directions to home” should not trigger Siri to call my cellphone number. I got so frustrated with Siri query on my Apple Car Play the other day that I asked “Hey Siri, why are you so stupid?” Siri responded “That was mean.” I kind of felt bad. But compared to Alexa, Siri is in serious need of remedial education. The remote learning thing must not be going well for Siri.
    edited May 4 StrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 29
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    The stubbornness on them not updating the @#$!# remote is even more baffling than them shipping that utter disaster of a butterfly keyboard FOR SIX YEARS.

    Whoever is in charge of the hardware human/machine interface decisions at Apple has a serious brain defect.  Then again I still have the original candy colored iMac mouse; an equally baffling abomination of ambiguity.  Which way is up?  Thank god it had a wire or you would have been utterly screwed with that simple task!  And what is it with Apple and mice - the current charging port location seems like a huge FU to the user - "dammit it's a wireless mouse and you are only allowed to use it as a wireless mouse and you will like it!".  Gah!

    Designing a good remote isn't hard.  Just look at ones that get universal praise.  And the best remote I have ever used - and it isn't even close - is the Tivo remote.  I've had Tivo's since 2001 and thus I literally have a drawer full of Tivo remotes (including a translucent orange one I won in a promotion and love).  

    What makes them so special?  It's actually pretty simple:

    1. Form fitting hourglass shape.  A designer actually consider that - gasp! - human hands might be gripping these things for significant amounts of time and designed a case that actually is comfortable to hold!  So simple yet very few remotes even manage to get this right!
    2. Clear and distinct weight distribution so you can oriented the control blindly.  Pretty simple - take advantage of the large, form fitting case designed to be held by actual humans and put two large AA batteries in the bottom.  Bingo!  
    Those two very simple things alone address the most glaring flaws of Apple's designs.  Even the new Apple TV remote still refuses to acknowledge that human hands will be holding this thing.  I don't know what they are designing for with that shape - a cover shot on Architectural Digest?   I dunno - it still is horrible.  At least on the being able to operate blindly by touch and not having to look at it, they have slightly improved that with this design.  But it still universally SUCKS compared to the humble Tivo remote. 

    And how the hell did a new Apple TV remote ship without the W1 or whatever is needed for Find My support.  Seriously?!?  I swear, for a company supposedly so hyper-focused on Experience misses like this are beyond baffling.  The biggest one being the front facing camera in the new iPad Pro has auto face tracking/zoom when you are a video call - but the new iMac - with everyone working at home and hanging out on Zoom calls all day - doesn't?!?! 

    Seriously?!?  WTF is going on at Apple that they can't seem to connect even the most blindingly obvious dots?

    Oh well - I just had a thought.  I wonder if I could take the guts of the Function 101 remote and integrate them into one of my old Tivo remotes? Now that is something that could be really interesting!  Have to practice up my surface mount soldering skills a bit. It's not like I don't have enough donors.  If I can perfect it on one of the Tivo remotes I don't care that much about maybe I'll get another Function 101 and convert my Orange one.  Now that would be a snazzy Apple TV remote!
    edited May 21
  • Reply 23 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    Nice article. I don’t think we should downplay just how awful the trackpad was. As much as I love Apple, I viscerally hate that remote. 
    I’m not alone in this, this is common for cyclists using Zwift. If you had the smallest bit of sweat on your thumb, no play. It in fact astonishes me that they sold it for so long. I don’t think it’s unfair to say this was a poor move. 
    As a side, ah Apple TV & TV setup is probably the cheapest yet most immersive Zwift setup. Similar price to an iPad I guess but much better. If you’re a cyclist, give it a go!
    Nah I love the trackpad. You can adjust the sensitivity and we never had any issue with it. Swipe scrubbing is way better than D-pad clicking. 
  • Reply 24 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    auxio said:
    Agreed on the 1st gen Siri remote being awful.  Slips out of your hand far too easily.  Once they put the remote app on the iPhone I never used it again.  I'm looking forward to trying out the new remote.

    I finally broke down and got a $12 GE universal remote so I can use my AppleTV and my TV itself on the same remote. What a concept.
    Yeah, I had a Logitech Harmony remote for years for the same reason.  But ever since I cut the cord on cable TV, and switched to a home theatre setup for my sound, I find that the only thing I really need to do on my TV these days is switch HDMI connections.  And even then, I have it down to two connections now, with the Apple TV being the connection I use the vast majority of the time.  If I keep my TV on the Apple TV connection, then the TV will turn on automatically when I wake the Apple TV (and turn off when it does).
    Opposite here - once I got the touchpad Siri Remote, I stopped using our Harmony. It collected dust and now Logitech discontinued it. 

    Did have to get a silicone case for the Siri Remote, which solved its problems. 
    edited June 1
  • Reply 25 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    crowley said:
    I still have one of the white plastic ones around somewhere.  It came with the iMac G5, which seems like a weird inclusion now.  Back when Front Row was a thing.
    Front Row was awesome! Used it all the time to play music. But that was before I had a massive TV and good audio options. 
  • Reply 26 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    Good article!  We are going to really miss the Siri remote with the touchpad.  Best remote ever. We’re sorry that some people have had so much trouble using it, but we love it. Only remote we use.
    You won’t miss it, the new remote does touchpad and Siri functionality the same way the previous one did. It’s better; the only downside is the Mute button is where Play/Pause should be. But the touch functionality its solid. 
  • Reply 27 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    Beats said:
    HUGE downgrade with this new remote. I don’t get why they couldn’t keep the clickwheel but still cover the top of the remote with a black touch box. This would have made the remote look a lot nicer.

    We never had a problem with the Siri touchpad and the remote was just a BEAUTY. I was at the time living with family and the kids were 5 and 8 and they had ZERO problems so it strikes me as odd that adults are having trouble with it. We still use this remote to this day and it’s the best remote ever made.

    One time I was house sitting for a friend and she had a Roku. I was so spoiled by the touchpad and reality slammed me to the ground when I used the horrendous buttons on her Roku to enter text. A phrase that would take 30 seconds to type took about 3 minutes on the Roku (think YouTube specific videos like “cat jumps over a picket fence”).

    emoeller said:
    I've had every TV and the last two remote  versions worked very well for me.   Sensitivity could be adjusted in Preferences and, like all things Apple, once I became used to its functionality it just worked!   I currently have three of them (two 4K and one HD), but only one 4k tv at this point.    I'll be getting the new 4k TV 64Gb once my remodel is completed when I get a new 4k (or 8k?) TV.

    Not only that, a $1 case fixes most user problems people complain about while still looking beautiful.



    These were glow in the dark, offered protection and fixed orientation confusion.

    Also Apple could have fixed sensitivity issues with a software update(if low sensitivity wasn’t low enough and fix this side-touch problem I heard about). Instead we get this ugly, thicker remote with less functionality. I just hope Apple keeps it on the market because it they don’t I can see the prices skyrocketing on EBay.
    There is no functional downgrade with the new remote. It still has the exact same touchpad functionality. It just also has a D-pad click mode. You can use both or just one. 

    Being thicker isn’t a problem here. Arguably better in fact, due to shape in hand. 
    edited June 1
  • Reply 28 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    I’m with Beats on this one.  Nothing wrong with the remote that a cheapie silicone case couldn’t solve.  I love mine, not so in love with the aesthetic of the new one (though all of them owe a little to Bang & Olufsen).
    So you love it as long as it has a rubber case to make it usable? Also, you're find with the precision for fast forward and rewind?
    Absolutely, 100%. You can adjust it in Settings if you have an issue with it. 
  • Reply 29 of 29
    My biggest problem with the 4th gen remote is the play/pause button position.  For continuity with the previous remote, >| should have been on the bottom left, with mute in the middle.  Users with a single device in the house will eventually get used to the new position, but anyone with a previous generation in another room is going to regularly be pressing the wrong button.  This was so easy too, the middle button was not something you used during content playback, why not keep the same layout???
    edited June 1
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