Apple missed a huge opportunity to include the U1 chip in the new Siri Remote.
Apple’s Spring Loaded event served up its fair share of new products and announcements, and one of the biggest new products was AirTags. Apple has such confidence in the AirTags announcement that it was the first major product to get announced during its virtual event.
Apple went in-depth to explain how AirTags can be tracked through the Find My app, marked as lost, pinged with a sound, and the app can even lead you directly to your lost item if you’re close enough. AirTags have Apple’s U1 wideband chip, the same chip found in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models, making this super precise location tracking possible. That’s all well and good for AirTags and iPhones, but what about other Apple products? The good news is some third-party items and most other Apple products — like AirPods and iPad — are all trackable through the Find My app.
After Apple was done showing off the AirTag, they moved on to the other products, including the Apple TV 4K (2021), which comes with the new Siri Remote. Finally, Apple TV users don’t have to be stuck with the horrible all-glass version that shipped with the older Apple TVs, and we can finally say that Apple makes one of the best remotes for the Apple TV. There were rumors that the Siri Remote would contain the U1 chip and therefore be findable in the Find My app — however, we know that’s not the case. The new Siri Remote doesn’t work in the Find My app and has no U1 chip.
A huge wasted opportunity
Remotes are commonly lost items — I’m sure anyone with any type of remote can attest to that fact. They are small, constantly being used by other family members or guests, and they often end up in places you don’t expect them. The new Siri Remote is exactly the type of item that the Find My app should be equipped to find.
I can’t help but scratch my head in disbelief and wonder what Apple was thinking by not slapping the U1 chip inside the Siri Remote. Heck, you don’t even need the U1 chip, other products like AirPods are still trackable in Find My. Why the heck wouldn’t they make the Siri Remote compatible in some way?
What’s worse? They had the audacity to show this ad for AirTags during the event before they mentioned the new Siri Remote. Take a look:
The guy jumps into his couch looking for his AirTag and finds a ton of commonly misplaced items one you might find underneath the comfy layers of a couch. Lots of loose change, discarded snacks, oh, and what’s that in the foreground? A TV remote!
Perhaps, I’m too harsh on Apple here, but this really seems like a mistake. You launch into the Bluetooth tracker market with a new product, go to lengths to talk about that new product and how well it works in your ecosystem, and you forget to include an item that everyone already has problems finding? Of course, I guess you could always slap an AirTag onto your remote with adhesive of some kind and call it a day.
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