With no shortage of rumors suggesting that Apple is working on a massive Apple TV refresh, the New York Times reports that Apple is also planning to introduce a completely re-designed remote for its beloved set-top box.
The new Apple TV remote will offer expanded input options in the form of a touch pad.
“The touch pad can be used for scrolling around and there will also be two physical buttons,” the Times writes.
This should come as welcome news for users already acquainted with the current incarnation of the Apple TV remote. While it gets the job done more often than not, scrolling via the device’s directional arrow keys can often be an effort in frustration. And seeing as how the Apple TV remote has remained more or less unchanged for about 8 years now, a redesign has arguably been a long time coming.
A redesigned remote makes even more sense when one considers that the next Apple TV will reportedly introduce a slew of new and important features. Remember, rumor has it that Apple at WWDC will introduce a new $30-$40 TV subscription service alongside a revamped Apple TV. While the final channel lineup remains open to speculation, the Wall Street Journal believes it will be a lightweight selection of about 25 channels, with big hitters like ESPN and FX reportedly on board already.
Furthermore, reports have also indicated that the next-gen Apple TV will feature Siri integration and, even more tantalizing, its own dedicated App Store.
For years now, Apple has referred to the Apple TV as a hobby, nothing more than an interesting product whose full potential remained unknown. At WWDC 2015, slated to kick off on June 8, it stands to reason that we’ll finally see the Apple TV graduate from ‘hobby’ status to a fully baked and mature product. And what better way to signal that a new Apple TV era is upon us than with a more functional, intuitive, and completely redesigned remote.