The remote that comes bundled with the Apple TV is infamous for its difficult-to-use design and controversial touchpad for navigation. It’s so bad, in fact, that Swiss TV and internet provider Salt — which provides Apple TVs as the set-top boxes for its internet TV service — has developed a more traditional remote to replace Apple’s model, via MacRumors.
The optional remote (which costs 19.95 francs, or roughly $20.16) was reportedly developed in collaboration with Apple due to complaints from users who were confused by Apple’s touchpad controls. Salt’s remote natively supports the Apple TV right out of the box, with no pairing or setup required — just like Apple’s remote. It also can control a TV set through IR controls, similar to other universal remotes.
But the most notable thing about the Salt remote is just how ordinary it is. There’s a regular four-way control pad for navigation. There are separate play / pause, forward, back, fast-forward, rewind, and stop buttons to control playback. There’s even a dedicated power button! The only thing missing is a Siri button and microphone for activating Apple’s digital assistant. (MacRumors speculates that this absence is due to the fact that Siri services aren’t offered in Switzerland.)
The real question is whether customers in other countries will be able to buy and use the Salt remote. With the reception of the current Apple design, a simpler, easier-to-use option sounds like it’d be welcome in places beyond Switzerland.