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New Apple TV Siri Remote has a big weakness — here's why

Siri Remote for Apple TV 4K
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s new Apple TV 4K offers more than just a more powerful processor and a color balancing feature — it also includes an all-new Siri Remote. But don't expect that you'll be able to automatically track down that remote should it go missing.

Early indications suggest the Sir Remote lacks a U1 chip, similar to the one found in iPhones since the iPhone 11. That chip is what the new AirTag tracker uses to connect to your phone and allow you to track down valuables through Apple's Find My app. And that means you won't be able to track down the remote in a similar fashion.

Now to be clear, Apple never promised that you’d be able to track the Siri Remote, though that does seem like a little bit of an omission. The remote of any device is one of the easiest things to lose in your home. Did you go and make a coffee mid-steaming marathon, perhaps you took it to the kitchen. Do you have kids? Well then it could be literally anywhere then — and being able to use the iPhone to track it to the end of the garden would be a great feature. 

Apple AirTags

You'll have to attach one of these to your Siri Remote (Image credit: Apple)

Apple has confirmed to The Verge that there is no U1 chip to be found in the new remote. That's disappointed some Apple watchers, who've presumably lost a lot of other remotes over the years. 

Interestingly, the Apple TV 4K 2021 box itself does have the U1 chip, allowing it to report on where other devices are, as well as make use of features that may appear in the future. 

MacRumors suggests that the U1 chip is missing from the all-new iPad Pro as well. That means that the chip is currently available in the iPhone 11 and 12 models as well as Apple's HomePod Mini. The strategy here seems perhaps a little random, although presumably Apple feels that the U1 chip is best placed in devices like phones, rather than tablets and remotes. 

One workaround would be to attach an AirTag to the remote, which would let you keep tabs on the whereabouts of your Siri Remote. Perhaps someone could even make a little case for the controller that will allow owners to pair the two devices together.