If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that y’all really like hearing about my favorite inexpensive accessories. Be it the $8 Garmin charging pucks or the indoor cycling desk that’s half the price of Wahoo’s – everyone likes a product that’s better than the original and still cheaper.
And since there’s officially no product more horribly unusable than the Apple TV remote, really anything you add to it will make it better. And since I’m a heavy user of Apple TV for my Zwift usage, I needed something that at least made that situation grudgingly acceptable.
The main issues with the Apple TV remote and Zwift are:
– It’s slippery AF
– It’s easy to drop…because it’s slippery AF
– There’s no way to easily attach it anywhere on your bike
– It gets covered in ‘beautiful’ sweat, looking horrendous
I mean, there are other issues too, but those are the main ones.
So a year ago I went online to try and find a new and better Apple TV remote. There were some rumors of 3rd party ones that were cheap and would work with Apple TV, using real buttons for navigation. But they were only available in Switzerland. Since then they’ve been slightly more widely available – but ultimately, they cost more money.
While on that trail, I got distracted on Amazon (as always) and found this $8/8EUR silicone case for my existing Apple TV remote. Even better? It had a strap. More on that in a second.
First, here’s the box. Normally it looks all nice and pretty. But I can’t quickly find my unboxing photos from a year ago, and so I had this one that I was transporting home in my backpack and it stayed there for a week or two. #RealLifeOfDCR
I bought a few of these, since I have multiple Apple TV’s at my indoor trainer station. I picked up different colors, so I knew which remote was for which TV. See, I can be organized and logical when I want to be. Inside the box is the silicone Apple TV thingy, and then the strap:
And that’s it. Let’s not overthink this.
Next, take it and stick it inside the case. It takes approximately 1.8 seconds if you do it correctly, or 10 seconds if it’s your first time because you somehow put it on backwards the first time.
Pro Tip: If the charging port hole isn’t accessible – you did it wrong. If the buttons aren’t accessible – you did it wrong. If both the charging port and buttons aren’t accessible, you’re probably too drunk to ride a bike – even on a trainer.
Next, you use as normal. Now what’s notable here is that it actually has bumps at either end, so that it gives you a handle of sorts to grip on:
Also, handily, it covers the bottom part of the remote with silicone, so you can quickly and visually realize which way it should be pointed and not try and rub the bottom non-touch portion (which, you’ve definitely tried to do):
But its most important feature is the strap. Sure, you could awkwardly put this on your wrist and then somehow ride at the same time. But that’s not what I use it for. Instead, I use it to place on my bike handlebars if I don’t have the trainer table close by (such as some smart bikes). Here’s how it would look on a normal bike:
Plus, the case protects the remote from most liquids (sweats, but perhaps a failed Gu intake). But, it does still contain a small hole at the front so it can send IR signals to your TV to change the volume and such:
Also, interestingly, it even has a little magnet in the front, so you can stick it on magnetic surfaces.
Here it is attached to the side of the wall:
Or, for some bizarre reason, attached to the trainer desk:
And yes, there are multiple colors:
And thus, I’ve written more than necessary about an Apple TV remote condom with a strap. But I’ve now bought 4 of these things, and need to buy at least two more. At the DCR Studio, the two main Zwift stations have them (with unique colors), and then a few weeks ago I bought ones for home and the shed. At home, I got one for our TV because I’m tired of the remote disappearing after one of the three peanuts slides it between a couch cushion or relocates it inside the play kitchen. At least it’s bright red and big I have a chance of finding it. And the second for the Shed, since it’s where I Zwift at nights or weekends.
Oh, and finally, no – this won’t resolve every issue with the Apple TV remote. And in fact, some of them aren’t even Apple’s issues. For example, this won’t fix the hideously designed end-screen menu on Zwift where you try in vain to choose which screenshots you want, only to have it skip back and forth over the screenshots while still hidden below instructive text. That’s on Zwift to make usable. But, at least when you throw the Apple TV remote at the ground in frustration, it’ll just quietly bounce once. Protected by silicone and ready for your next ride.
With that – thanks for reading!
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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.
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And finally, here’s a handy list of trainer accessories that most folks getting a smart trainer for the first time might not have already:
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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!