Apple Inc. released a new application for the iPhone that lets users control their Apple TV set-top box, mimicking the functions of the Siri remote control. The app works with the latest Apple TV, which first went on sale in October.
The iPhone app allows users to navigate the Apple TV using the smartphone's touchscreen instead of a physical remote. The free app, called Apple TV Remote on the App Store, lets people control games and search on the Apple TV using Siri voice control. The iPhone's software keyboard also allows Apple TV users to more easily input passwords.
Apple introduced the fourth-generation Apple TV at a news conference in September and released it the next month in stores. The product features a touch-based remote control with motion sensors for gaming as well as a microphone.
The new remote app is not optimized for the iPad's larger displays, while the prior version of the app—without gaming or Siri support—is. The new app is useful as a secondary remote control for the Apple TV or for navigating using a larger screen. It could also serve as a substitute for those who have misplaced or lost their Apple TV remotes, which cost $79 to replace.
Apple said in June that it plans to release additional Apple TV-related software this fall. The company is preparing a software update to unlock a new "dark mode" that minimizes bright colors to make the system easier on the eyes when the lights are off in a room, the ability to quickly sign into multiple apps using a single cable login, and a smarter version of Siri.