(Pocket-lint) - Apple has released a new app, called Apple TV Remote, and it sort of replaces the previous Remote app.
Teased at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference last year, the new Apple TV Remote app has been available for developers since June and was released to the public this afternoon. It basically includes support for some of the new features introduced on the latest Apple TV, although it's still an early version and could do with another update that adds even more functionality.
The new Apple TV Remote app isn’t available as an iPad app yet, and it lacks Home Sharing features that would let you control iTunes on a Mac. Apple’s original Remote app for Apple TV, which is still available to download, works with iPad however (except for 12.9-inch iPad Pro units).
Here’s how Apple described the new app:
"Apple TV Remote is a great companion to Apple TV, delivering the best of the Siri Remote. With Apple TV Remote, you’ll never need to put down your iPhone to enjoy Apple TV. Control Apple TV with a swipe of your finger or use the keyboard to quickly enter text. And you can use the app along with the Siri Remote."
Stand-out features include the ability to navigate Apple TV with touch gestures, quickly enter text, email addresses, and passwords using the keyboard, and of course ask Siri to find something great to watch, listen to, or play. Keep in mind this Siri capability requires the fourth-generation Apple TV. The app also lets you control the movie, TV show, or song that’s currently streaming.
You can even use the new Apple TV Remote app to play games (with your phone's accelerometer and gyroscope) and enable on Game Mode for simplified game controls, according to Apple, which originally said it wanted to release the app "in the first half" of 2016.
Apple didn’t quite make that deadline - but it’s here now. Download it free of charge from the Apple App Store.