Wait, why isn't the new Siri Remote a Find My device?

New Siri Remote
New Siri Remote (Image credit: Apple)

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.

New Apple Tv 4k 2021 Banner (Image credit: Apple)

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!

Airtags Ad Video Remote

Airtags Ad Video Remote (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • Indeed, now I am thinking about it, i loose my remotes the most. But attaching a Airtag looks silly.
  • Yeah, according to tech blog pundits Apple is always ‘missing huge opportunities’, always messing something up, aways overpricing their hardware and software. The competition always does it better and cheaper according to these ‘experts’. It’s a wonder the company is still in business. And then there are the user comments always coming up with reasons they won’t be buying the product... “I’ll won’t buy it until it has this or that thing I demand it have.’ Spotify is better, Samsung is better, Huawei is better. That Apple continues to exist seem be a miracle to these critics.
  • apologist much? "hey they are making money and are still in business so they must not be doing anything wrong" -- that logic does not play. Apple is leading the competition for sure, but they could have just hit a grand slam home run in the TV set-top box space (where they are lagging behind the competition) and instead they chose to bunt and put a man on base. They won't lose the game as a result, because the game is about the entire ecosystem, but they could have just run up the score in a big way. my biggest fear is that Apple TV as a product does not do well enough and Apple stops making it and leaves me to using crappy Smart TV technology in the future or some third-party set-top box. I want Apple TV to really succeed, but I don't think its a big money-maker for the company. And if they sold more of them then they might be able to really transform it into a popular casual gaming box and get lots of great games -- but that won't happen without enough of a user base. I feel like Apple TV has only stuck around because the executives at Apple all use them and they like the product, but Apple could stop making them tomorrow and would hardly miss anything on their bottom line. The only reasoning I can imagine for not including the U1 chip in the remote is that there exists some patent on a TV remote that can be found using radio frequencies. At the very least, Apple could have added the technology I had in my Dish Network box over a decade ago.... hit a button on the set-top box and it pages the remote which then beeps so you can find it. Even old cordless phones would do this. Any patents on this type of technology are likely expired.
  • He may be swallowing Apple's N** a bit too much, he makes a valid point. These stupid tech pundits (cough*youtubers*cough) persist that their way is the right way ("you need a keyboard with the iPad," "Magsafe is a must otherwise why bother getting the iPhone 12," etc), S*** like that is why "tech pundits" aren't still being taken 100% serious. But I hate to break it to you: Apple TV was always only a hobby to Apple. Steve Jobs didn't really take it serious since Day 1, calling it a hobby project and figured they could make a few bucks out of it. Maybe leadership at Apple has changed enough to the point that MAYBE they are working on something huge or in reality could really careless about it and screw everyone that invested on it.
  • Guess you have to wonder what adding that capability into an item that only costs $60 in the first place and has no need for such radios for anything else, would cost. Everything that Apple makes that supports this, iPad, watch, phone, already has similar radios and costs significantly more already. For sure I'd like it, but it might have cost too much to add it.
  • They literally put a U1 chip in a tiny little $29 AirTag that runs off a watch battery and somehow they could not add a U1 to this expensive ($60) remote control? Heck, add $10 or $15 to the cost of the remote if you have to and just do it. If you need to save money on the Apple TV / Remote bundles then take the U1 chip out of the stinking Apple TV itself (yes, the Apple TV includes a U1 chip even though the new iPad Pro's and new Siri Remote do not). Have you ever lost your Apple TV? ..... Me neither. Apple's U1 strategy is so far idiotic. At the very least, make it so an AirTag can be attached to the Siri Remote seamlessly. We are looking for our Siri Remote EVERY DAY in our home. I have 4 kids that are misplacing it: 3 teenagers and a toddler who loves to play with the remote and hide it when the teenagers leave it within his reach. Because Apple screwed the pooch by failing to add the most needed feature to the Siri Remote I have to buy some ugly case to house the remote along with an AirTag. My best guess for why this feature is missing is some patent troll holds a patent on a TV remote control with an embedded chip that uses radio frequencies to find its location. Nothing else makes sense to me.
  • It is wrong. And short sighted because the remote could have served as a demo advertisement for selling air tags. LoL. Apple doesn’t want people to use their Siri remotes in place of air tags.
  • There is a tremendous business opportunity here for some enterprising young entrepreneur. Come up with a nice silicone case for this new remote that has a handy spot where you can stick in an AirTag and it will solve this lack of the U1 chip. And you will make millions. I would not be surprised if someone has not already thought of this and is in the design phase with a case maker.
  • Apple may be planning a $379 Hermès “Remote Jacket” as we speak.
  • Because apple wants you to buy an airtag to use on it and you dummies will buy right into it.
  • "forget to include an item that everyone already has problems finding?" - Speak for yourself please, I have yet to misplace that remote in an almost all black everything home. If any now that remote would stand out more. What I do have a problem with is they still don't have shortcut keys for Channels like the Roku TV. You would think that with the amount of F*** you money Apple has, they can simply throw some of it at any potential patent issues, but that only further proves that Apple TV is only a hobby project for Apple and the Fanboys really need to stop expecting Apple to treat it as otherwise.