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.
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.