The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are some of the most popular full-featured streaming devices on the market today. When Apple releases their long rumored new Apple TV this summer, it’s sure to be the Fire TV’s top competitor. While the focus of AFTVnews is the Fire TV, it would be silly to ignore a competing product released by the worlds most popular company. That said, the New York Times is reporting that the new Apple TV will come with a redesigned remote control that contains a touchpad.
When Steve Jobs first introduced the Apple TV in 2007, he famously, to great laughter, compared their tiny “2-button w/ D-Pad” remote to Windows Media Center remotes containing dozens of buttons. The Apple TV remote has changed very little since those early days. But that’s expected to change with the new Apple TV model which is rumored to replace the existing remote’s directional buttons with a touchpad. The new remote’s touchpad will be used for scrolling around a redesigned interface, while the remote retains the existing MENU and PLAY/PAUSE buttons.
Innovation in remote controls seems to be a popular differentiator with new streaming boxes. Roku integrated a headphone jack into their flagship remote, and several manufactures, like Tivo, have integrated full keyboards into their remotes. You’re certainly aware that Amazon added a microphone to the Fire TV’s remote, but did you know the remote also includes a disabled accelerometer which may have once been a planned feature that didn’t quite make it into the final design? And now Apple is expected to enter the game with a touchpad remote. Let me know what you think of a touchpad remote in the comments section of this post.