This little Apple TV remote tweak with tvOS 13 was long overdue

Siri Remote on Apple TV
Siri Remote on Apple TV

What you need to know

  • Apple made a small change to the Apple TV remote with tvOS 13 that is most welcome.
  • You can't turn on the Apple TV by pressing the touchpad on the Apple TV remote anymore.
  • The change eliminates accidentally turning on your Apple TV when you don't mean to.

With the rollout of tvOS 13, aside from adding new software features, Apple also made one big change to the Apple TV remote. You can't turn on your Apple TV by pressing the remote touchpad anymore.

This is an unexpected and long overdue change to the Apple TV remote.

The touchpad Apple TV remote has been polarizing to say the least. On the one hand, it looks really sleek with its aluminum and glass finish that is reminiscent of the iPhone. On the other, it's befuddling there is no dedicated power button. All in the sake of minimalism goes Apple's thinking.

Prior to tvOS 13, the "power button" was pressing any button that wasn't the volume toggle, including the touchpad. That meant if you grabbed the Apple TV remote and accidentally pressed the touchpad in the process, which isn't out of the question since it occupies 33% of the remote, you would turn on the Apple TV. This happened to me more times than I care to admit.

This was even more annoying to those of us who take advantage of HDMI-CEC, because when your Apple TV turns on, so does your TV. I can't tell you how many times I returned the remote to my TV stand at night only to accidentally press the Apple TV remote and be ungraciously greeted by the bright TV turning on.

Siri Remote on Apple TV

Siri Remote on Apple TV

That changed with tvOS 13. Pressing the touchpad doesn't turn on the Apple TV anymore. This little change is so welcomed, it seems weird that Apple didn't include it with the Apple TV touch remote from the get-go. It just makes sense.

I love the change though I'm still getting use to it. The muscle memory of turning on the Apple TV by pressing the touchpad is still there—I still attempt to turn it on by pressing on the touchpad—but I'll take the small learning curve as long as accidental Apple TV activations are a thing of the past.

Maybe nobody else ran into this issue. You can still accidentally turn on the Apple TV by just pressing the menu or home button, however, given those buttons are more tactile thereby alerting me when my fingers grace them, it was never an issue for me. Pressing on the touchpad was.

Thankfully tvOS 13 solves this issue. Did you suffer this annoyance too or was it just me? Let me know in the comments down below.

Danny Zepeda