Saturday, 29 December 2007

Apple Remote 2.0

The Apple Remote was introduced with the first upgrade to the iMac G5, which introduced Front Row. Since then, the tiny white plastic remote has been bundled with the entire Mac range, plus the Apple TV. You can even use it with the iPod Universal Dock, and the now defunct iPod HiFi.
When it was launched, Steve Jobs proudly compared it with competitor remotes, which contrasted with the Apple Remote's simplicity. The fact that all the functionality is distilled down into 6 buttons illustrated everything that Apple aimed to achieve in terms of design, Jobs said.
Having used the remote for over a year now, three things strike me:
  1. It is very easy for non-techies to use. My parents, who are complete technophobes, love their Apple TV because it has the only Remote Control that they "get"
  2. It is very clumsy for more sophisticated users - just a couple more buttons would solve a lot of problems
  3. It is now out of step with the Apple's new aluminium design style
Points 2 and 3 indicate it's time of some enhancements, whilst point 1 indicates that Apple shouldn't lose site of what's great about the original.
So what should change in the Apple Remote 2.0?
  1. Separate "Play/Pause" and "Select" buttons. This would enable you to pause playback wherever you are in the menu system. Pressing play (or double-clicking play?) would take you to the Now Playing screen. This also solves "Resume Playback" in DVDs - it's so frustrating if you're in the middle of a DVD movie, you press menu, and then you must press menu again and select "Resume Playback" to return to where you were in the movie.
  2. Home would take you to the top menu wherever you are - to avoid the "back, back, back, back" clicks you currently have to do on the menu button to navigate around
  3. Separate "Volume" from up and down controls, so that you can change volume when you are in the menus, or DVD menu (suggest volume control on left-side of the remote, similar to iPhone)
Adding these buttons doesn't make the remote unduly ugly, as this visual hopefully illustrates, albeit it becomes a 10 button remote, rather than a six button remote.
In terms of design, I suggest something like an elongated iPod Shuffle, but a bit larger and weightier. It would be nice if it came with a rechargeable battery and an optional charging dock.


  1. Did you know that holding the home button for a few seconds takes you back home from whatever page you're on? That may be of help to you...


    1. Tô Lạp tựa hồ đã dồn hết dũng khí để nói ra những lời này. Ly Sát có chút sửng sốt một chút rồi lạnh nhạt nói :
      -Ngươi còn muốn giấu diếm hắn bao lâu nữa ?

      Nội tâm Tô Lạp thầm căng thẳng :
      -Giấu diếm ?

      Ly Sát lạnh nhạt nói :
      -Tiểu tử ngốc kia nhìn không ra chẳng lẽ ta cũng không nhận ra ma pháp ngụy trang trên người của ngươi sao ? Nếu mà như vậy ngân long tộc chúng ta cũng không xứng xưng là ma pháp long rồi.

      Tô Lạp khẩn trương nhìn Ly Sát :
      -Đừng, ngươđồng tâm
      game mu
      cho thuê nhà trọ
      cho thuê phòng trọ
      nhac san cuc manh
      số điện thoại tư vấn pháp luật miễn phí
      văn phòng luật
      tổng đài tư vấn pháp luật
      dịch vụ thành lập công ty
      chém gió
      trung tâm tiếng anhi ngàn vạn lần đừng nói cho hắn. Ta không thể cho hắn biết .

      -Tại sao ?

      Tô Lạp lắc đầu nói :
      -Không tại sao cả chỉ là không thể cho hắn biết .

      Đôi mắt tử quang của Ly Sát lóe lên nhìn nhìn nàng rồi nói :
      -Hình như ngươi rất thích hắn, mấy ngày ta ở đây cơ hồ tất cả mọi việc trong gian túc xá này của các

  2. Hi Art (or is that George?) Thanks for the tip - didn't know that.