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Two Siri Remote Sleeves That Incorporate AirTag Pockets

Among my many husbandly roles is Finder of Things.

My wife often misplaces her keys, so I recently attached an AirTag to her keyring (see “Apple’s AirTag Promises to Help You Find Your Keys,” 20 April 2021). Now, whenever she misplaces it, she yells for me to tap Find My on my iPhone so that the AirTag beeps. (She would do it herself, but she is enamored of her ancient iPhone 5s due to its small size and hasn’t upgraded to an AirTag-compatible model yet.)

The other thing she continually misplaces is our Apple TV’s first-generation Siri Remote. And no wonder—the slippery glass wafer has a way of vanishing between the couch cushions, finding its way beneath the living room furniture, disappearing amid clutter on side tables, or being absentmindedly left in another room.

When Apple announced its second-generation Siri Remote in April (see “Apple Updates Apple TV 4K; Introduces New Siri Remote,” 20 April 2021), alongside the AirTag, my jaw was among many that dropped in disbelief that the remote didn’t incorporate Apple’s Find My tracking technology via its ultra-wideband chip.

After all, even Apple acknowledged that TV users lose track of their remotes. In an AirTag promo video shown during the company’s April press event, an actor is seen wandering within his couch, à la Alice in Wonderland, amid tech clutter that includes an iPod, a CD-ROM, and, yep, a TV remote.

Yet, Apple offers no solution—the guy in the video is looking for his AirTag-equipped keys, not his remote.

So what am I to do, in my role as Finder of Things? I could continue helping my wife ransack the house for her Siri Remote whenever it goes missing—she has lately been using the second-generation model—but how about a Siri Remote sleeve that also accommodates an AirTag?

This idea popped up seemingly within nanoseconds of AirTag and the second-generation Siri Remote being announced. 3D-printed or otherwise DIY-ed AirTag remotes soon appeared on Etsy, Thingiverse, and other places.

Now two accessory vendors, Elago and Abby, have released silicone Siri Remote sleeves with AirTag pockets.

Both sleeves work in the same way: you first insert an AirTag into a snug circular compartment at the bottom and then slide the Siri Remote into the sleeve over the tag so they’re held tightly together.

This approach makes the remote thicker, but not enough to hamper usability. My thumb still easily reached most of the buttons. The Siri button on the right edge is the only one covered by the sleeve, using either case, but you can easily press it through the sleeve.

The differences between the sleeves are mostly cosmetic but do affect usability in minor ways.

Elago’s $15.99 2021 Apple TV Siri Remote R5 Case is understated, with a smooth, curved bottom that offers no hint of the AirTag nestled within. Because of this, it feels very comfortable in the hand—much more so, in fact, than the sharp edges of the bare Siri Remote.

Elago R5 case

The R5 Case includes a wrist strap. It is available in four colors—beige, black, blue, and white. The white version glows in the dark, which is why it’s called “Nightglow Blue.”

Elago also sells a few simpler, less expensive sleeves for the second-gen Siri Remote that do not have AirTag pockets, along with a wide range of sleeves for the first-gen Siri Remote.

In contrast, Abby’s $24.50 Anti-Lost Case for AirTag, Siri Apple TV 4K HD Remote Control (2nd Gen – 2021) has a more elaborate design with a textured surface and an aggressively angled bottom that gives it a militaristic vibe. It also does a nice job of cushioning the remote’s sharp edges.

A circular cutout on the bottom reveals the presence of the AirTag for no practical reason that I can see. The protruding AirTag introduces another tactile element that makes the sleeve feel weird in the hand—whether that’s bad-weird or good-weird is a matter of taste, and in my case, it’s a bit much.

Abby's Siri Remote case

The case is available in black, blue, green, orange, pink, and yellow. It has no wrist strap.

Abby’s Siri Remote sleeve is one of several AirTag products in its portfolio. Other accessories include a keychain holder and a dog-collar pouch along with a wallet and an AirPods Pro case cover that incorporates an AirTag compartment.

I’d like to say that one of these sleeves solved my wife’s Apple TV woes, but that remains a bit unclear as I write this. She’s vacillating between the first-generation and second-generation Siri Remote and seems to be leaning towards the older device.

If she ends up sticking with that model, she may be out of luck on the AirTag front since neither Elago nor Abby makes such sleeves for the first-generation Siri remote. (I’ve spotted only a few crude-looking options on Etsy and other places.) I’d be reduced to awkwardly fusing the AirTag to the Siri Remote (like this), and I don’t think my wife wants AirTag capability that badly.

Regardless, she isn’t crazy about the bulk the Elago and Abby sleeves add to what’s otherwise, for her, a pleasingly minimalist experience.

So it looks like I may have to keep doing what I’ve been doing: leaping to my feet when my wife hollers for help and rummaging around until I locate her remote. The Finder of Things never rests.

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Comments About Two Siri Remote Sleeves That Incorporate AirTag Pockets

Notable Replies

  1. Okay. Call Apple and ask for your referral fee.

    I’m going out to buy a new Siri Remote, a Siri Remote Case, and an AirTag. My wife and I don’t lose or misplace that much. Well, me with umbrellas, but I usually know where I left them.

    However that stupid Siri Remote! Grrrr! It too easily falls inside cushions. It tends to get left around. I actually have three of these because we’ll be unable to find one, order a new one from Apple, then find it (Oh, it was on top of the fridge.).

    [S]he is enamored of her ancient iPhone 5s due to its small size and hasn’t upgraded to an AirTag-compatible model yet.)

    My wife had an iPhone 5C. She kept it in her purse… many times uncharged or with the phone on mute. Her friends contacted me rather than her because I was reachable. It got to the point where her Israeli Hebrew only speaking relatives called me via WhatsApp that pushed me over the edge.

    For her birthday, despite all protests, I got her an Apple Watch. Of course an Apple Watch doesn’t work with an iPhone 5c, so she also got a new iPhone.

    She was extremely upset by the fact. A new phone and a watch. I was “putting her on a leach” (although she knew I could track her via Find My). She loved that phone. She didn’t want to learn a new phone.

    I got her an iPhone SE (2nd edition). It has a Home button, so it worked just like her old one. Plus it had Touch ID. She loves the phone. It’s almost the exact same dimensions as her older one.

    The iPhone 12 Mini is actually smaller than her iPhone 5c, and I was thinking of getting that. The SE isn’t available in blue, and she wanted a blue one. However, not having to learn new gestures is a big help for her.

    And she loves the watch. I got about a dozen cheap bands on eBay, and she matches the bands to her outfits. She answers it like Dick Tracy, something I never did. She’s learned to reply to text, Facebook messages, and other things on it via the built in messages and using the microphone. She uses to track her health and exercise.

    Just want to say if you need to get your wife a more up to date phone, look at the iPhone SE. it’s the same size and with the Home button, works the same way. Plus, it’s faster, has a better camera, and will last her another five years. The iPhone 5S is going to be unusable next year when all the major companies shutdown their 3G networks.

    Let me know if you do get one. I want to use my referral fee to help pay for the new Siri Remote, AirTag, and that case.

  2. We use Elago covers for our two remotes. Mainly for the orientation and grip issues they fix, they’re also reasonably cheap and add to the overall robustness of the glass-edged remote.

    There’s also the built in remote in Control Center in iOS. That’s what we use when the ‘where the heck is the remote’ query arises.

    Can’t see myself forking out fifty bucks for the Airtags and more for fresh cases for our two remotes though. They’re not like wallets or keys and on the move, they’re typically somewhere near the sofa.

  3. I do to, but sometimes my iPhone is in my office charging up. Then I have to work out if it’s better to find the remote or go to my office to get the phone.

  4. Rather than using semi-permanent adhesive as TechHive did with the Tile, just use cheap hook-and-loop dots.

    Personally, I wish the new remote was also available in black.

  5. That Elago R5 is almost disgusting. Not because it holds an AirTag, but because it enables you to chain yourself to your TV. That’s pathetic!

    (I’m triggered by personal history; in my first real job, in 1979, I was assigned to manage an apparatus which measured electrolytes extracted from the tiny tubules in rat kidneys for physiology experiments. The sample sizes were measured in NANOliters. Analyses from thousands of samples from hundreds of rats over the 18 months I did that were made from an aggregate tubular fluid collection of probably a tiny percentage of one teaspoonful, but the analyzing equipment filled an entire room: A scanning electron microscope integrated with X-ray spectrometers, mated to a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer that had no video monitor, just an ASCII line printer that made an infernal racket. That line printer failed fairly regularly, and each time that happened a guy would fly down from Boston with a suitcase full of circuit boards, figure out which to change, and I’d get back to doing or supervising the incredibly boring work. Finally, for one trip the DEC guy watched me work for an hour or two.

    The humidity in that room was <10%; this was in ultra-humid Little Rock, AR, which felt like another planet to this CA guy, and keeping the equipment happy required another piece of equipment for that huge room–a dedicated air conditioning unit to battle the sweltering Southern heat. My work involved peering at freeze-dried samples of tubular fluid that had been placed on a grid on a circular beryllium disk the size of a nickel that we mounted on the sample stage of the electron microscope and positioned beneath the electron beam by moving the disk with a joystick while looking at the disk with an optical dissecting microscope. When the electron beam was turned on, the samples would emit X-rays that the spectrometers could analyze so that we could measure the content (and by inference from the known sample volumes, the CONCENTRATIONS) of those electrolytes in the fluid samples. Doing so required repositioning the spectrometers by changing settings on the PDP-11, which took up most of the room. I sat on a metal-wheeled office chair, rolling back and forth among the electron microprobe’s “observation point,” the enormous cabinet that housed the PDP-11, and the line printer, which itself was as big as a small dinner table. In that zero-humidity air, my excursions would often result in collisions with the metal legs of the line printer, and the static electricity discharge would fry one of its circuit boards.

    The solution was a grounding strap, which for me was like being handcuffed to the machine from hell. The wrist strap for that AirTag enhanced Apple TV remote brought up some bad memories.

  6. The wrist strap is important if you use the remote as a game controller.

    In the early days of the Nintendo Wii, there were many incidents of users accidentally throwing the controllers across the room because they were not wearing the strap while playing games like Wii Bowling.

    I don’t think the Apple Remote has a motion sensor, so people won’t be throwing it about, but if you are using it to play games, it may well slip out of your hands from time to time and fall on the floor. The strap will protect it, should this happen. (Of course, so will the rubber sleeve.)

    Of course, if you only use your Apple TV to play videos, then the strap is pretty pointless.

  7. It’s pretty handy for extracting it between sofa cushions….

  8. Now I know why the PDP-11 and the DEC-20 in College was behind a wall with technicians swatting us students away.

  9. Apple sold a wrist strap for the previous Apple TV controller. Since adding the wrist strap destroyed the symmetry of the device, it solved the problem getting the buttons and touch surface right by feel.

  10. I use that wrist strap to attach a Tile rather than sticking the Tile directly onto the remote. It saved us many times especially since multiple users can ring the Tile, unlike the AirTag.

  11. I’ve recently been trying out this Nomad sleeve and I’m hooked. It has a minimalist design similar to the Elago sleeve, but it feels (and smells) fancy because it’s leather. Most crucially, my wife likes it (or, at least, hasn’t said “what the heck is this?” when I added it to the remote while she was away on a girls camping trip :slight_smile:

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