Apple’s iOS 17 and tvOS 17 are packed with innovative features, but one that stands out is the "Find My Remote" function. This feature, designed to alleviate the all-too-common frustration of misplaced remotes, is not officially named and is not part of the Find My app. However, it promises to be a game-changer for those of us who frequently find ourselves patting down the couch cushions in search of our elusive Apple TV remote.
The new feature is embedded within the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad, and is compatible with newer Apple TV devices or at least the second-generation Siri Remote. The setup process is simple and quick, but it’s important to manage expectations. While the feature may bear a resemblance to the search function for an AirTag, the accuracy of the search is somewhat more basic. Despite this, the feature is a valuable addition to the Apple TV ecosystem, especially considering it holds a charge much longer than an AirTag battery.
iOS 17 and tvOS 17 Introduce New "Find My Remote" Feature
Among the many exciting updates in iOS 17 and tvOS 17, the "Find My Remote" feature has been a standout for many users. While it doesn’t carry an official name and is not part of the Find My app, it’s nonetheless a practical tool that could save you time and frustration looking for a misplaced remote.
Accessibility and Compatibility
The new feature is located within the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. It’s compatible with the newer Apple TV devices or at least the second-generation Siri Remote. If your Siri Remote charges via USB-C, you’re set to utilize the feature. It’s quick and easy to activate, taking just a few seconds to get started.
Functionality and Limitations
Despite its resemblance to AirTag’s search interface, the "Find My Remote" feature offers a more basic locating service. Rather than providing precise distances or directions, the tool gives general indications like ‘Near’ or ‘Far.’ Additionally, unlike AirTags, there’s no option for the remote to emit a sound to aid in its location.
It’s important to note that the remote’s battery life surpasses that of an AirTag. This isn’t a criticism as such, but rather a reminder that Apple is enhancing a pre-existing feature, not entirely transforming the remote into an AirTag equivalent.
A Comparison: AirTag vs. Built-in Finder
As an example, I’ve been using a Nomad leather case with a hidden AirTag. This setup has not only improved the remote’s ergonomics but has also made it easier to locate due to the precise tracking and audible chirp of the AirTag.
In comparison, the built-in remote finder in iOS 17 offers a more basic service. However, it’s worth noting that it comes at no extra cost, whereas a Nomad Leather Cover and a single Apple AirTag would set you back $62.
While the new "Find My Remote" feature may not deliver the same precision as an AirTag, it’s a welcome addition to the Apple ecosystem. This free service simplifies finding a lost remote, a common frustration for many users. However, for those willing to invest a little extra, pairing your remote with an AirTag can offer a more robust solution. Despite this, Apple deserves commendation for this practical, user-friendly update.