Swiss telco Salt, which includes an Apple TV 4K in its domestic broadband TV bundle, has today launched an "alternative" bespoke Apple TV remote control for users of its 250+ channel television service.
Costing just under 20 Swiss francs, the optional remote was reportedly developed in close collaboration with Apple, after a sizable section of Salt TV's customer base apparently complained about the poor usability of the Apple Remote that comes with every Apple TV 4K.
Thanks to Apple's input, the alternative remote doesn't require any pairing with Apple TV and works out of the box. It includes directional arrows in place of the Siri Remote's glass Touch surface, a power button in addition to a Menu button, along with separate volume and channel rockers and traditional media playback buttons.
There's no microphone button in evidence, presumably because Siri on Apple TV isn't officially available in Switzerland, and there's no numerical channel buttons because tvOS doesn't support the function. Otherwise, it resembles a standard TV remote that should be more amenable to Salt TV's users, who can also look forward to an updated Salt TV app interface on Apple TV.
It's unclear if this is a one-off Apple TV hardware collaboration between Apple and a regional third-party, although having said that, Apple recently made Microsoft and Sony controllers compatible with tvOS and iOS, so maybe this indicates a new trend.
Either way, Apple has obviously listened to feedback and decided its Siri Remote isn't the most optimal design for enjoying multi-channel TV navigation after all.
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The alternative remote control for Salt TV can be set up to work with almost all standard TV sets, and is available to order on the Salt online store.