Hands-On With Salt's Apple TV Remote Replacement

The Apple TV 4K is a fantastic little set-top box that has an easy-to-use interface, an App Store, and options to watch all kinds of content, but there's one major flaw with the device - the Siri Remote.

Apple unveiled its ‌Siri‌ (or ‌Apple TV‌) Remote with touch surface in 2015 alongside the fourth-generation ‌Apple TV‌, and it's never been a particularly popular accessory. With that in mind, Swiss company Salt created an alternative ‌Apple TV‌ Remote, which we managed to get our hands on.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Salt is a Swiss telecommunications company that offers the ‌Apple TV‌ 4K in a broadband TV bundle for its customers. There's no way to order this remote in the United States or countries other than Switzerland - it's designed only for Salt customers.

According to Salt, the Salt Remote was designed in close collaboration with Apple after the Salt TV customer base complained about the poor usability of the default remote that comes with the ‌Apple TV‌.


Available for just under 20 Swiss francs, the Salt Remote looks more like a traditional remote than Apple's version, and it's made from a simple black plastic with buttons for controlling multiple functions.

It is designed to connect to the ‌Apple TV‌ out of the box and requires no pairing to set up. It's both wider and longer than the ‌Siri‌ Remote, so it's harder to lose, which is probably a good thing for most people given how easy it is to misplace the ‌Siri‌ Remote.


Unlike the ‌Siri‌ Remote, the Salt Remote has no touch interface on the front, offering buttons as an alternative. On the ‌Siri‌ Remote, the touch surface replaces directional arrows and there are limited physical buttons available.

Salt's remote features directional arrows for navigation purposes, volume controls, multiple media controls with play/pause, rewind, and fast forward, a mute button, a menu button, and a power button. All of the buttons are responsive and easy to use.

There is no microphone button for activating ‌Siri‌ because ‌Siri‌ is not an available ‌Apple TV‌ function on the ‌Apple TV‌ set-top boxes in Switzerland. Anyone who uses the current ‌Apple TV‌ remote with ‌Siri‌ for searching for content will definitely notice the lack of a ‌Siri‌ button.


There's also no Home button available on the Salt remote. On Apple's version, the Home button lets you get to the Home screen quickly and access the app switcher to close out apps or swap between apps. Holding down the menu button on the Salt Remote brings you to the Home screen of the ‌Apple TV‌, but there's no way to replicate the other missing Home button functionality.

Given that this is an inexpensive remote option, it is powered with two triple A batteries that need to be replaced every six months on average, but that's a minor inconvenience.

All in all, the Salt Remote is clean, simple to use, and has no fiddly touch interface to deal with. Unfortunately, given that this is developed by a Swiss company, it is unlikely to come to the United States or other countries.

Apple may have allowed an alternative remote for one telecom, but it's doubtful that Apple would allow the ‌Siri‌ Remote to be replaced in all countries. It's possible that we could, however, see a new ‌Siri‌ Remote design at some point when Apple releases an updated ‌Apple TV‌.

What do you think of the Salt Remote? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
I hope now that Ive is gone someone will wisen up and make a remote that doesn't suck.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Shut up and take my money!

I'm with you dude. I HATE the Apple TV Remote. After going all-in on Apple, by far the Apple TV Remote is Apple's WORST product. I have other "issues" with the Apple TV, but it all starts with the remote.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
Just because Apple didn't "invent" it is no excuse; heck, just give the Salt company a fistful of dollars and license it at least; sell it as an overpriced accessory in the Apple Store. People will buy it.

Not all of Jony Ivie's designs are worthy of keeping around.... the butterfly keyboard, the trashcan Mac Pro, the MacBook with one USB-C port (!) .... sometimes you wonder if anyone at Apple actually tries any of their products outside of their UFO.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
I was super excited about this until I saw the limitations.

Why can’t somebody just make a version of this that still has a microphone with Siri and the normal Home button?

Why can’t frickin’ Apple just do this?

God this company is so bloody annoying.
Get over yourselves and make some stuff that is actually well designed for human usability.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
I had no idea there was so much hate for the normal remote.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
No Siri :(

Most TV remotes already work with Apple TV (but not Siri), so we're not missing anything that Salt is providing. Great point about closing out apps... Guess the perfect remote would be a taller version of the current Siri Remote with the old navigation keypad right below the touch pad.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Sending Replacement AirPods With Unreleased Firmware, Rendering Them Unusable

Wednesday April 8, 2020 9:23 am PDT by Juli Clover
Customers who require a replacement AirPod from Apple have in some cases been receiving an AirPod running 2D3 firmware, which is not a version of the AirPods firmware that's been publicly released. As described on the MacRumors forum and Reddit (via iMore), customers who get an AirPod with the 2D3 firmware are unable to pair it with the existing unreplaced AirPod, leaving the AirPods unable...

Facebook Launches 'Tuned' Messaging App for Couples

Wednesday April 8, 2020 4:50 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Facebook has quietly released Tuned, a new messaging app designed to provide a "private space" for couples to connect, reports The Information. Designed by NPE, an experimental group within the company that was established last year, the app encourages couples to share messages, notes, cards, voice memos, photos and Spotify songs with each other, thereby creating a "digital scrapbook" of...

'Leaked' Images Allegedly Show iPhone 12 With Smaller Notch, Rear Camera Redesign, and Home Screen Widgets

Tuesday April 7, 2020 4:28 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Two images shared on social media this morning are currently stoking speculation about possible hardware redesigns coming to the iPhone 12 and the potential introduction of Home screen widgets in iOS 14. Shared by Twitter user Fudge (choco_bit), the images depict a front and rear graphical representation of a smartphone with interface elements on the screen, suggesting it came out of a...

LG Begins Rolling Out 2020 NanoCell TVs With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, Pricing Starts at $599

Thursday April 9, 2020 7:32 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
LG today announced pricing and availability for its 2020 NanoCell TVs with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support in the United States. The first 4K models are rolling out now, with pricing starting at $599 for a 55-inch model. The entire 4K lineup will be released by September, including up to an 86-inch model for $3,299. 8K models will also be rolling out in May and June, including 65-inch and...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 With Fix for FaceTime Bug

Tuesday April 7, 2020 10:06 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1, minor updates that come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, major updates that introduced iCloud Folder Sharing, a new Mail toolbar, trackpad support for the iPad, and more. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General...

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

Apple Reportedly Targeting WWDC for Over-Ear Headphones Launch, New 'AirPods X' Later in the Year

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:00 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Rumors of Apple-branded over-ear headphones have been circulating for quite some time, while more recent rumors have mentioned an "AirPods Pro Lite" that could also be in the works, and Twitter leaker Jon Prosser's recent foray into Apple rumors provides a bit more detail on what we might able to expect for these products. Current Beats Studio3 Wireless and BeatsX On the over-ear side,...

2020 iPad Pro Confirmed to Lack a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:52 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Last week, we laid out evidence suggesting that the just-released iPad Pro models do not contain a U1 Ultra Wideband chip, including the lack of any mention of the chip in tech specs or Apple's press materials, the absence of software support for U1 features, and more. Most tellingly, iFixit was unable to find the chip or related antennas in the device. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has follo...

Apple Shares Assembly and Use Instructions for New Face Shields, Shipping 1 Million Per Week to Medical Workers

Tuesday April 7, 2020 8:54 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Following this weekend's news from Tim Cook that Apple is working with its supply chain to produce a million face shields per week for medical workers, the company has shared a support document outlining how to assemble and adjust the shields. The document includes a series of images and animations showing how the simple three-piece product can be assembled for either a regular fit or with...

HBO GO and HBO NOW Will No Longer Be Available on 2nd and 3rd Gen Apple TVs Starting April 30

Wednesday April 8, 2020 7:05 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
HBO today announced that its HBO GO and HBO NOW streaming services will no longer be available on second-generation and third-generation Apple TV models starting April 30, 2020. In a support document on its website, HBO says this change is being made "in order to provide the best streaming experience":In order to provide the best streaming experience, we need to make some changes to our...