The iPhone will soon be a more capable replacement for the Apple TV remote

apple remote app becoming full replacement for hardware tv hands on 12
Shortly after the release of the fourth-generation Apple TV, the company updated its Apple Remote app to make certain tasks like entering passwords less painful, but compared to the actual remote, functionality is limited. Later this year, the app is going to get much more useful.

Apple is currently working a new Remote app for the iPhone, Apple’s Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi told John Gruber in an interview on his podcast, The Talk Show. Unlike the current app, Federighi said the new app is “really a full replacement” for the hardware remote, offering all of its functionality from Siri to trackpad gestures.

This even includes gaming, including the ability to use the iPhone as a second controller in two player games. “Remote for one person, phone for one person,” Cue said.

Neither Cue nor Federighi mentioned a specific release window for the new remote app, but it doesn’t seem that we’ll have to wait for too long, as it was mentioned that the app is expected to be released in “a couple of months.”

The interview is quite revealing considering Apple’s reputation for keeping its plans tightly under wraps. In addition to talk of the upcoming remote app, Cue and Federighi shined light on subscriber numbers for both Apple Music and iCloud.

The updated remote app isn’t the only way that controlling the Apple TV is getting simpler this year. Last week the beta for tvOS 9.2 was updated, adding support for voice dictation, making entering information like user names and passwords much easier than with the standard remote. There is no word on when exactly the update is coming, but it’s expected to arrive sometime this spring.

The full interview includes other interesting tidbits, like the upcoming Bluetooth keyboard support in tvOS 9.2. To listen, head over to Gruber’s website Daring Fireball. The discussion of the new Remote app starts around 22 minutes in.

Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Looking for a controller to play 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try one of these

The Switch is the most versatile console around, and that means you might need a controller that's different from the norm. In fact, even the standard controller is a best weird. Here's our favorite Switch controllers.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Home Theater

Get ready to ditch your amplifier: New LG TVs add a powerful way to go wireless

WiSA, a wireless technology designed for high-end home theaters, might finally start seeing more love. LG's top-tier 2019 TVs will be WiSA certified, and that could mean a new wireless future for premium surround sound.
Smart Home

The Apple HomePod gets a whole lot cheaper today at Target

Apple's HomePod hasn't been the most popular smart speaker on the market but for users who are all in on Apple's heavily policed ecosystem of devices, this smart speaker is on serious sale at Target this week.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

These top-line smart speakers conduct the most sophisticated symphony: Your life

Stuck talking to yourself? Get an A.I. assistant to keep you company! Whether you put your stock in Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, we've picked out the best smart speaker for any smart home ecosystem.

Choosing one of these smart TVs under $300 will make you look like a genius

Buying a good cheap smart TV is easier than ever. To help you out, we've sniffed out a half dozen of the best models out there with prices starting at just $130. We've even thrown in a couple 4K smart TVs, with these UHD models still…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.