Since it was announced last month, there’s been a fair amount of chat about the new Siri Remote for Apple TV. Much nicer to hold, great D-Pad, a mute button and so on. However, one thing that was mentioned a fair bit was the lack of something - the U1 chip.
Apparently, Apple’s reasoning for not including this was that they felt the new larger size meant it would never fall in-between the cushions of your sofa like the previous one would do daily. This is, to put it mildly, bullshit.
Mainly because it completely misunderstands the actual usefulness of the U1 chip.
While I’m sure losing the remote in the sofa cushions was an issue with the last remote, that’s not the main reason people needed to find it. The tiny size and all-black upper surface meant that it was hard to catch the eye even out in the open. Many times, people have been using the remote while not on the sofa and then put it down somewhere else - maybe even in another room. These places can also get covered up with clothes, mail or anything else. This is not even counting those mischievous pets or children who would dare to hide it deliberately!
After all, you’re using an AirTag attached to your keys to find them somewhere around the broader area of the home, not a tiny two-metre square radius of the sofa. The same thinking applies here. With its wonderfully simple UI, the Find My app could have told you if the remote was close and in which direction. On the sofa? Ah, there it is! In the direction of the kitchen, ok, I must have left it there when I went to make a drink.
The new Apple TV 4K is excellent, but it doesn’t offer anything other than ‘Niche Niceties’. The U1 chip would have provided something immediately tactile to connect with the average consumer and be helpful. It’s strange it was omitted and even stranger that Apple seems not to understand why it would have been beneficial in the first place.