The Apple TV Remote

I know my last few posts have been Apple TV related, but since I use it every night, it’s always on my mind.

So let’s talk about the remote.

Or, that fucking remote, as it is known around here.

What idiot designed this thing? It’s too thin, too light, too slippy, too symmetrical, easily lost (I’ve velcro’d mine to the back of another properly designed remote to stop it disappearing down the back of the couch for the 100th time), doesn’t light up in the dark, too simplistic, and worst of all – difficult to use.

I’m sure the person who thought about putting a track pad at the top of the remote considered themselves to be some sort of genius. But the reality is that it’s incredibly frustrating. Every interaction is tiring in it’s execution, as you madly swipe your thumb over the surface to get to where you want to go. And you don’t gain any benefit from it either! Unless you’re using the box to play games, the trackpad actually serves no purpose. And if you are using it to play games, you’re far better off using a proper Bluetooth game controller anyway.

Every time I switch back to our Sky Q box, with it’s perfectly normal set of 4 arrow buttons at the top, I achieve everything I want to do with far less hassle. My son can use that too, while the trackpad is confusing for him. No idea what you’re meant to do if you have limited motor function in your hands, as I imagine it’s just completely impossible.

I can praise Apple for all the good things it does, but human interaction with hardware seems to be something they really struggle with. It seems like their design team don’t use mice or keyboards, and certainly don’t watch television.

I am genuinely baffled by the idea that a whole team of designers, including somebody who is often lauded as a design expert, could consider this thing to be useable.

On the plus side, since it’s Apple, it’ll never get fixed.