Check out the Button Remote, an alternative to the Apple TV Siri Remote

Let’s face it, Apple’s default Siri Remote for the Apple TV is uncharacteristically badly-designed garbage.

Jony certainly wasn’t involved with the design of the Apple TV’s Siri Remote – unless he was drunk during the 20 minutes that were lavished on its so-called design. — MacDailyNews, November 22, 2016

With the Siri Remote, users can’t tell which end is up in a darkened room due to uniform rectangular shape. The remote is still too small, so it gets lost easily. All buttons are the same size and similarly smooth (the raised white ring around the menu button helps, but so barely it’s astounding that Apple even bothered; it’s a bandaid on a turd). The tactile difference between the bottom of the remote vs. the upper Glass Touch surface is too subtle as well; this also leads to not being able to tell which end is up. A larger remote, designed for hands larger than a 2-year-old’s with a simple wedge shape (slightly thicker in depth at the bottom vs. the top), as opposed to a uniform slab, would have instantly communicated the proper orientation to the user.

If Jony Ive “designed” the Siri Remote, he should forfeit his knighthood. — MacDailyNews, September 25, 2017

And those are two of our “nice” Siri Remote reviews.

This unfortunate, seemingly never-to-end situation has prompted third-party companies to make alternative remote control options for Apple TV, including Function101’s aptly-named “Button Remote.” It uses two AAA batteries, so it doesn’t need to be periodically charged like the ‌Siri‌ Remote.

Function101's Button Remote (left) and the Apple TV Siri Remote
Function101’s Button Remote (left) and the Apple TV Siri Remote

Juli Clover for MacRumors:

The Button Remote from Function101 is priced at $30, which isn’t too bad if you have a broken ‌Siri‌ Remote or are just fed up with using it (note that ‌Siri‌ Remote is used in countries where ‌Siri‌ is available on ‌Apple TV‌ – in others, it’s the same design, but without a ‌Siri‌ button and it’s called the ‌Apple TV‌ remote).

The Button Remote is available in the U.S. and can be purchased online.

Design wise, the Button Remote is bigger, thicker, and provides more physical buttons than the ‌Siri‌ Remote, which is largely touch based. The larger design means it’s less likely to slip in between couch cushions or otherwise disappear.

The physical buttons work well enough. There are directional arrows for navigating, an OK button for selecting items, a menu button for going back to the previous screen (hold it down to go to the Home Screen), volume buttons, and media playback controls… Of course, there’s one major button missing that may be a dealbreaker based on how you use your ‌Apple TV‌ – there’s no ‌Siri‌ button. If you regularly ask ‌Siri‌ to find content on the ‌Apple TV‌ or otherwise take advantage of the personal assistant, you will have no way to do that on the Button Remote.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, you could always do what we do and use Apple’s excellent Remote app (free) on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It works leagues better than the Siri Remote.


  1. “Let’s face it, Apple’s default Siri Remote for the Apple TV is uncharacteristically badly-designed garbage.”

    Disagree. I use it all the time. It’s a work of genius.

    1. The main problem is the touch pad – impossible to fast forward or rewind – and where the hell is the mute button? every time I try to fast forward or rewind I end up with the menu/subtitles popping up.

      1. I have to say, it is not the remote I hate so much as the functions that are unpredictable and not easy to remember how to use for some lesser needed commands.

        Overall the AppleTV experience seems to be getting much better but I prefer the ATV app or my Samsung TVs remote.

    2. Yeah, it’s not perfect by a long shot – no “mute” button? But I did get one of the remotes in this article and honestly, it kinda sucks too. I have my TV behind my LG C9 on the wall, and it’s nigh impossible to get RF signal to it. Shoulda been BlueTooth. But for $30, it was worth the try…

        1. @disposableidentity
          Because sometimes you watch programs that have commercials.

          And yes, my one complaint with Apple’s remote is the lack of a mute button.

        2. I use more than one remote. Mute or volume separately. No sports for me, and my wife doesn’t yell unless volume is too loud, but I’m on top of that, too. The remote sucks. All alternatives I’ve seen suck more, including this one. Sir I is the best part of the Siri remote, User error if you ignore that.

  2. ROFL – and that uninspired aged design piece of crap pictured next to the Siri remote, is what Apple should be striving for…while your at it, lets turn our iphones into Blackberry classics and our iPads into Newtons.

    1. My brief play with the Apple Remote after all the criticism was rather positive to my surprise. Yes it isn’t perfect, but a little larger and thicker at its base and it would be very good in my view. The alternative here hardly seems like a forward step, but rather just old school.

  3. How I miss being able to use my Apple remote for Keynote presentation since they removed IR receivers in Macbooks some years ago. There is no substitute for physical buttons when doing a presentation. Not only do you not have to look down at your stupid phone while talking (who the hell wants to give a presentation with a phone in their hand anyway?) but the remote was much more reliable, the vagaries of wifi and bluetooth were never an issue. Shame on Apple, a company that prides itself on world-class presentations, to have fallen so far in this area.

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