New OS X El Capitan beta reveals Multi-Touch Bluetooth remote control (for Apple TV?)

“Although it’s light on new consumer-facing features, the latest release of the OS X El Capitan beta for developers hides references to a pair of future Apple hardware products: a new 4K version of the 21.5-inch iMac and a new Bluetooth Remote control,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

A new file inside of El Capitan seems to confirm that Apple has been working on a new Bluetooth Remote Control. According to our scan of the file’s contents, this new piece of hardware integrates a dedicated Bluetooth wireless chip, can connect with devices via an infrared sensor, and includes a Multi-Touch trackpad with inertial scrolling support,” Gurman reports. “There is also a reference to what could be Force Touch support, but we are less certain about that…”

Read more, and see the code snippets, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV certainly needs a better included remote. Using Apple Watch to control Apple TV is leagues better than using the Apple TV’s remote which seems designed not only to assuage Steve Jobs’ button phobia, but also to slip into the nearest crack between sofa cushions.

As we’ve mentioned previously, current Sony 4K TVs are shipping with a more rudimentary touchpad remote than the one that various rumors and patent applications intimate is coming from Apple. You can see Sony’s touchpad remote in action in this video:

New Apple TV expected to feature touchpad remote – May 4, 2015
Apple patent application reveals new gesture control pad for future Apple TV remote – April 16, 2015


    1. The current Apple Remote ($19 separately) works with Mac mini. It’s the same one that comes with Apple TV. If you happen to have the old white one that came with some Mac models before, it should also work.

      When I got my Apple TV recently, my Mac mini (located opposite side of room from Apple TV) would sometimes spontaneously start playing music in iTunes. It was picking up the IR signal from Apple Remote (although aimed in opposite direction). I had to figure out how to disable IR sensor on the Mac mini (type “IR” in System Preferences and select “disable remote control”); the setting is hidden away under Security & Privacy pane Advanced button.

      You cannot control everything on a Mac with a simple remote. Apple should create an “Apple TV” app that makes a Mac work exactly like an Apple TV, using a simple remote control. Unlike most newly released Apple software, make it run on older Mac models going back a few OS X releases (because a lot of people have their older Mac connected to HDTV). Apple previously had the “Front Row” app as part of standard Mac software installation, which served a similar purpose.

      This would increase the number of “Apple TV” users instantly, giving Apple more clout for negotiating content deals. And a Mac connected to a TV is the “Apple TV that runs apps” without the need to create a whole new “ecosystem” of apps. The next major revision of Mac mini can have the footprint of current Apple TV box, using the tiny motherboard design of recent MacBook. It’s still Intel-based, so all existing and new Mac apps (including games) are supported. And it’s an Apple TV when running the “Apple TV” app.

      I have an old Mac connected to my HDTV. Luckily, my HDTV has three HDMI inputs (for cable box, Mac, and Apple TV). To fully control the Mac, I use a Bluetooth keyboard with Mouse Keys enabled (in System Preferences Accessibility pane), which turns numeric keypad into a mouse.

      1. The old Front Row app was great for that. Unfortunately, Apple has discontinued it. I guess the only option would be to use a Linux machine with a remote-friendly program. Though, for iTunes content, you’d probably have to use a Windows machine with a remote-friendly program. Though, you might be able to get iTunes to work in Linux with Wine. The only upside of those two possibilities is that you could have better video playback and audio playback by adding sound cards and video cards.

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