Apple has a new Apple TV 4K with upgraded hardware, but if all you want is the redesigned Siri Remote then you’re in luck. Addressing one of the biggest complaints about Apple’s set-top box, the new remote promises to be far more user-friendly then the old version, and the good news is that Apple will sell it separately too.
That means you don’t have to buy a whole new Apple TV 4K (2021) if all you want is the new remote. Pricing for that box starts at $179.99 for the 32GB Apple TV, and $199 for the 64GB version.
The Siri Remote (2nd generation), meanwhile, will be $59 as a standalone upgrade. It’ll be available to order from April 30, Apple says, and is expected to ship sometime in the second half of May.
Compatibility is with the Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) – that is to say, the model announced today – and the original Apple TV 4K which the company is now referring to as the 1st generation. The new Siri Remote will also work with the Apple TV HD, which was launched in 2015. That was the first model in the series to use the original Siri Remote design.
Compared to that original remote, the new Siri Remote (2nd generation) is longer, and marks a return to the silver and black color scheme of the very first Apple TV remote. It has a new, circular touchpad controller, which supports 4-way tapping for directional navigation. You can also scroll around the outer ring with a circular gesture, to quickly navigate through lists.
As before there are volume buttons, play/pause, back, and TV. However Apple has also added two of the most-requested keys: a power button to control your TV, and a mute button. That means the new Siri Remote (2nd generation) is much more likely to be able to replace your regular TV remote now.
On the side, meanwhile, is the relocated Siri button, which you press and hold to talk to Apple’s assistant.
There’s still Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to the Apple TV itself, along with an IR transmitter for TVs. It charges via Lighnting, with a port on the bottom and a USB to Lightning cable in the box.