Here are a few unrelated facts:
- Up until few weeks ago, Apple was selling the Siri Remote, one of the least popular (and most easily lost) remote controls ever made, with a slick glass and metal chassis that’s practically designed to slip behind a couch cushion.
- Apple also recently released its AirTag trackers, which use a Bluetooth network of Apple devices and local ultra-wideband tracking to help locate missing items, whether they’re across town or a few feet away in the room with you.
- The AirTag tracker has a small speaker, so you can find it buried in a couch or under a pile of throw pillows.
- Apple just redesigned the Siri Remote, which it announced at the same event as the AirTags trackers.
- Apple did not include a UWB chip in the new Siri Remote to allow users with recent iPhone devices to track said remote if they manage to lose it.
- Apple is a company that produces cases for almost all of its products (including the iPhone, iPad, and AirTag tracker) — but not either iteration of the Siri Remote.
- Apple’s official support document for “If you lost the remote for your Apple TV,” advocates that users either use the Apple TV remote function integrated into iOS devices or just buy a new one.
- My Apple TV remote is somewhere in my living room, and no, I don’t have any idea where it is.
With all that said, it’s no surprise that enterprising creators are already making 3D-printed templates for a case for the original Siri Remote that allows you to slot in both the remote and an AirTag tracker so that you can actually find it the next time you lose it in a couch. There are already several available from Thingiverse, an Etsy store selling files, and even an enterprising eBay seller that’ll print and ship you one if you don’t have a 3D printer.
To be clear, this is the lamest workaround for the fact that Apple didn’t just put a UWB chip and a tiny speaker in its $60 remote. It can’t be a cost thing: AirTags have one and they only cost $30. Roku has been putting tiny speakers in its remotes to make them easier to find for years. There was even a strange message in Siri that seemed to hint at the possibility of finding a lost Siri Remote using the virtual assistant — but Apple removed the message a few hours later.
As such, I cannot explain why Apple has refused to embark down this mind-bogglingly obvious path. But I am puzzled why Apple isn’t making a nicer version of this exact 3D printed concept (ideally out of nicer, more durable materials that actually match the rest of the hardware and would be more enjoyable to use on a daily basis).
Apple loves selling unnecessary hardware accessories (like its various AirTag keychain cases, which cost more than the AirTags and solve the self-inflicted issue of not having a loop built right into the device).
For Apple, it’s a no-brainer to make a case (that adds functionality that Apple should have included right out of the box) that would almost certainly exceed the cost of the remote and require the additional purchase of a different Apple product.
And yet, for all my mockery here, I really can’t find my Apple TV’s remote.