The Poorly Designed Apple TV Remote

I’ve been living with a shuttered Apple TV remote for the past 12 months. It’s useable, but not ideal.

Rewind back a year and I was watching Netflix. I heard a thud sound and the Apple TV remote fell from the sofa, at no higher than 60cm. That was enough to shutter the glass. Cracked lines run across the sleek but fragile device.

My emotions turned from worry to frustration. Turned out I wasn’t the odd ones who faced similar problems with the poorly designed remote. Many discussions online surfaced the same problem – the remote breaks easily. Way too fragile. The glass coating looks fabulous and feels…decent. But it comes at the expense of useability and durability.

I called Apple up and while it’s under warranty, it doesn’t cover accidental damages. It cost $79 to get a new one. Even explaining to them how I’m an Apple fan that owns far too many i-devices couldn’t convince them to replace it. Nor could my question on why this poor design could ever made it to production grant me a free replacement. Feedback noted, they added. Oh well, all of this wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t roll out such a bad remote.

It’s not just the durability. Many have rightly criticised its interface and symmetrical design. Picking it up, you have no idea which way is the remote facing. It feels the same. And the touch surface is too prone to accidental swiping. I have experienced it way too many times when an accidental touch brought the show elsewhere. It was always challenging returning to where the scene was.

Apple has been plagued with quality issues in the past couple of years. From the well documented failure of Macbook keyboards to the AirPod which can’t hold even half of its original charge after just a year of usage. That’s disappointing. Apple ought to do better with its products.

This is damaging to its reputation and strong relationship Apple have with its customers. These niggling issues may have prompted even its most loyal customers to cast a glance elsewhere. Some have retort to saying if Steve Job was around, none of this nonsense would have happened. I kind of feel the same.