The New Siri Remote for the Apple TV is redesigned from the ground-up. Here’s what you need to know to master the best remote control Apple’s ever made.
Have a new Siri Remote? You will if you’ve just bought a new Apple TV. The new Apple TV has been a long-time coming. Apple last updated the Apple TV in 2017 when it introduced the Apple TV 4K. At the time, the biggest new feature was–you guessed it–4K support.
It wouldn’t be until 2021 when Apple would update the Apple TV again. What major new features are in this Apple TV? It looks identical to the 2017 Apple TV and still supports 4K video. But new to it is an HDMI 2.1 port as well as an A12 Bionic series (but not the A12Z) chipset, which should make games much snappier. Another nice feature? At the time of this writing, if you buy a new Apple TV you’ll get a year’s worth of Apple TV Plus – Apple’s video subscription service – for free!
But undoubtedly, the main start of the new Apple TV is the all-new, second-generation Siri Remote. Apple has completely redesigned the look and functionality of the Siri Remote and I have to say it completely elevates the Apple TV experience to a new level. Read on for all the tips you need to know to master the new Siri Remote (and check out this article for tips on the first-generation Siri Remote).
Siri Remote (2nd generation) In Detail
Here’s that the new Siri Remote looks like in detail. As you can see it’s done away with the rectangular trackpad of old in favor of a circular touch surface. It’s also added a number of new buttons (and new features!
Finally, it’s important to note that the new Siri Remote is almost twice as thick as the old one and almost twice as long. At first this might seem like a drawback–a bulkier remote? But in actuality, this is a massive improvement over the old Siri Remote, as many complained that one was too small and thin and frequently got lost in their couch cushions.
#1) Turn On/Off Your Apple TV AND Your Television
One of the best new features of the Siri Remote is the dedicated power button. It’s the small circle button at the top right corner of the remote. Press and hold it to not only turn on/off your Apple TV, but to turn on/off your connected TV as well!
This is a MASSIVE improvement over the old Siri Remote as you can now ditch your dedicated television remote. Previously, you needed to keep that one around because the old Siri Remote was not capable of turning the television on and off.
#2) Mute The Volume
Another massive Siri Remote improvement is the addition of a dedicated mute button. The old Siri Remote had no mute button, so if you wanted to silence the TV’s audio for a few moments, you needed to either turn down the volume all the way with the old Siri Remote, or pick up the televisions remote and use that mute button.
With the new Siri Remote, you can mute the television’s audio with just a tap.
#3) Get To The Home Screen Quickly
tvOS is a powerful operating system that runs on the Apple TV. It has tons of menus, and depending on what app you are in, it can take a while to back out to the home screen using the back button. But with this trick, you can return to the home screen from any app instantly.
Simply press and hold the back button (<) for three seconds and you’ll instantly be taken to the home screen no matter how deep in an app’s menus you are.
#4) Scroll With The Circular Touch Surface
A big feature of the new Siri Remote is the new clicked with the touch surface. The entire clicked works as a touchpad, but its circular outer ring has some nifty features.
When watching a video, you can scrub forward or back in the video by running your finger clockwise or counter-clockwise over the click pad’s outer surface. Pretty cool!
#5) Press To Skip Forwards Or Backwards 10 Seconds At A Time
Another great feature of the circular click pad’s outer ring is that you can press its left and right direction arrows to jump forwards or skip backward 10 seconds at a time in videos. It’s a quick way to instantly rewind or fast forward a bit if you get distracted for a moment.
#6) Check The Time
The Apple TV doesn’t display a clock on its home screen or anywhere on the screen when you are in an app. But there is a quick and easy way to see the time no matter where you are in tvOS.
Pick up the Siri Remote and press and hold the TV button for a few seconds. This will soon cause tvOS’s Control Center to appear, which will display the time and date in the upper-righthand corner of the screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you buy the new Siri Remote separately?
Yes, the new Siri Remote can be bought separately for $59.
Q: Which Apple TV's does the new Siri Remote work with?
The new Siri Remote is compatible with the Apple TV 4K (2nd generation), Apple TV 4K (1st generation), and Apple TV HD.
Q: Does the new Siri Remote have a mute button?
Yes, the new 2021 Siri Remote has a mute button. Finally!
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.