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Apple's infrared remote control has basically been the same for the past eight years, but that's about to change. Citing an unnamed Apple employee, The New York Times says Apple's upcoming Apple TV redesign will also sport a brand new remote control to better help users navigate thanks to a touch-sensitive pad area. The Times says there will still be two buttons (presumably the same ones for "menu" and "play/pause"), but that the new touch-sensitive area can be used for scrolling around the interface. On the last three generations of Apple TV boxes, that's been accomplished with a four-way control pad. The change could mean easier navigating around Apple's interface (which is expected to change), but also means that the remote control is also a tad thicker and closer to the one Amazon ships with its Fire TV, the Times says.
Apple's got a lot on its plate for WWDC
Apple is expected to show off a brand new version of the Apple TV at its developer conference in San Francisco next month. A report from Buzzfeed in March claimed that the new set-top box would have its own App Store and support for Siri. But the real expectation is that Apple will offer an internet TV service for cord-cutters. A Wall Street Journal report earlier this year noted that Apple was wooing content creators to put together a package deal of channels like ABC, CBS, and Fox for around $30 to $40 a month with a launch in the fall. A small taste of that strategy may have already happened last month with the debut of HBO Now, a $15-a-month version of HBO's streaming service that can be had without the need to be an HBO subscriber through any cable providers.
Apple's developer conference kicks off on June 8th, and is expected once again to bring previews of this year's new editions of iOS and OS X. The conference is also expected to bring Apple's revamped streaming music service, along with tools for developers to make native apps for the Apple Watch.