One of the highlights of the fourth-generation Apple TV is the Siri Remote. Compared to the previous Apple TV remote control, the Siri Remote vastly expands on its capabilities. In addition to a glass Touch surface for navigation and swipe gestures, the unit listens with dual microphones for voice commands. The Siri Remote even doubles as a gaming controller, with a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer. Apple has long offered the Remote app for iOS devices to get in on the action.
However, in its current form the Remote app doesn't come close to replacing the Siri Remote. The current Remote app is limited to entering text with the keyboard and simple navigation gestures on the Apple TV. Playing media can also be controlled, but the level of interaction possible is nowhere close to the Siri Remote.
Apple is set to change all of this with a completely new remote control app, slated for release in the next few months. The new remote app will bring full Siri Remote functionality to iOS devices, so they can be used in conjunction with the Apple TV 4G. Apple executives Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi revealed that development was in progress during an interview with John Gruber.
The upcoming remote app will essentially convert an iOS device such as an iPhone into a Siri Remote. Full support for Siri voice input, gestures and even gaming will be possible. In fact, multiplayer gaming can be enjoyed on the Apple TV using the Siri Remote, with an iOS device running the new remote app being used as a second game controller.Once the free remote app is installed on an iOS device and paired to the fourth-generation Apple TV, the Siri Remote can stay in a drawer. Look for the new remote app in the App Store before summer.