Product Type: Apple remote controls
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Handy little extra for a mac or an ipod
Member Name: Larrabee
Advantages: long battery life, user friendly
Disadvantages: A bit too small and easy to lose
I got my first Apple Remote with my purchase of the Apple TV. The remote is essential for using the Apple TV as there are no buttons on the box itself. It can also be used to control macbooks, imacs and ipods, while mine was included with a product they are available on Amazon for around £12 or from the Apple Store itself for £15, I feel this is pretty good value, as they do last a long time.
The remote is roughly three inches tall by an inch wide, which is a little bit of a problem as being so small its quite easy to misplace. If you have an Apple TV it will be out of action for as long as it takes you to find the remote!
The remote works by infrared, so you need line of sight with your devices in order to control them. The buttons are very intuitive and user friendly, consisting of a circle with a central 'select' button and four directional buttons to choose options, their is a 'menu' and a 'play/pause' button underneath the circle. This may seem basic but it really is all you need.
The battery life of the remote is very good, my first remote lasted about 2 years of pretty regular use, and the remote was broken accidentally before the battery ran out so I have no idea how long it might have lasted otherwise.
You can 'pair' the remote with one or more devices so that only that remote will be able to control it. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what the benefit of this is as most people will probably only use one remote. If I'm missing something obvious, I'd love for someone to enlighten me!
My only other real niggle with the remote is that if you have two apple devices close to each other the remote will control either, so you can mean to press pause on your Apple TV and iTunes on your laptop will spring to life. It can get a bit annoying but I'm not sure if there's anything that can be done to change this.
Summary: Only truly essential for the Apple TV, but a nice addition to other apple products
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