Update: This appears to be an alternative Apple TV Remote that Apple worked with cable companies to make. As the report below explains, this remote was designed for cable companies, hence the Guide button. It may not be sold by Apple directly, but instead was designed in collaboration between Apple and cable companies. It is being distributed by Universal Electronics.
Rumors about a new Apple TV Remote have been around for a while now, and earlier today, more evidence was found that Apple is in fact working on a new Remote for its set-top box. 9to5Mac has now obtained an image from tvOS 14.5 beta 6 showing this new Remote, which is internally identified as B519.
As you can see in the highlighted image, this alternative Remote will be quite different from the Siri Remote, which is basically an ultra-thin remote made of aluminum and glass with few buttons and a touch surface. The Universal Remote will have more buttons, as well as a navigation wheel similar to the first Apple TV Remote.
For example, there are new buttons for channel skipping, muting the TV, opening the channel guide, as well as an on/off button. The new Remote also looks much larger than the Siri Remote included with current generations of Apple TV.
However, while this is definitely a new Remote being developed by Apple, it may not replace the Siri Remote. As suggested by iGeneration, Apple is reportedly working to offer a new Apple TV Remote for cable company customers. This could mean that the Apple TV will still ship with the Siri Remote included in the box, but Apple will provide an alternative Remote for cable companies that sell Apple TV to customers.
That’s why Apple has been updating the tvOS 14.5 codes with references about a new Remote with a “center button.” Presumably this new Universal Remote is being developed by Apple in partnership with third parties and will be officially released in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, this also puts the rumors about the next generation Apple TV on hold, since we believed that a new Remote would necessarily be related to a new Apple TV — which doesn’t seem to be the case.
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