Next-Generation Apple TV Remote to come with ‘Touch Pad’

New Apple TV concept

The New York Times reports that Apple’s next generation Apple TV will come with a redesigned remote, which will include a ‘Touch Pad’.

The report claims that the new Apple TV remote with the touch pad will be slightly thicker than the current version (which is 0.2 mm thick). The New York Times says that the new remote could be as thick as the remote control for the Amazon Echo speaker system (which is 0.6 mm thick). The report notes that the touch pad can be used for scrolling, and will also include two buttons, which we’re assuming will be for Menu, and Play.

You have to click the clickwheel several times to navigate with the current Apple TV remote, which is quite cumbersome. The touch pad suggests that the new remote will allow you to control the Apple TV using simple gestures, just like the Remote app available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and more recently the Apple Watch.

The redesign for the new remote will be the first big change to the Apple remote since the Apple TV’s introduction in 2007. The Apple TV is essentially a set-top box that connects to a television, allowing people to stream content over an Internet connection. The first Apple TV included a plastic white remote with a few buttons. The following version was metal with minor changes to the buttons.

The report also claims that Apple will unveil the next generation Apple TV at next month’s WorldWide Developer Conference, which is in line with rumors we’ve heard recently. The report also reiterates that according to people briefed on the company’s plans, Apple is also likely to unveil an internet-based TV service for its Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. A report from The Wall Street Journal last month said Apple’s new TV service would launch in September with more than 25 channels, priced between $30 and $40 a month.

A remote with touch pad would be pretty cool, as I hardly use the remote that comes with the current generation Apple TV, and use the iPhone or now the Apple Watch instead to control Apple TV. As John Gruber of Daring Fireball suggests, it would be even cooler if the remote comes with a trackpad with taptic engine and Force Touch technology like the new MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro. It would allows you to feel the menu items as you navigate the UI while watching the television, while you use the remote with your fingers. It will also allow you to use features such as vary the speed of fast-forwarding or rewinding based on the pressure you apply on the trackpad.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

[via The New York Times]