Bluetooth key remapping


90% of my Channels viewing takes place on Apple TV 4K, using the aluminum remote. I change playback speed frequently, and click to seek forward and back (-7sec, +30sec).

I'll occasionally try to pick up and go using iOS. The sync is so convenient, it's a dream! And as long as I'm staring at an iPhone, I remember to use swipe gestures back and forth using the screen. Also to change speeds using the tiny scrolling ellipsis menu. (Presumably it only has to scroll because I have the text size up a notch.) So far, so good!


The problem comes in when I involve remotes other than the Apple TV remote. Two examples:

  • Going audio-only in the car, with the phone on a seat. The same steering wheel controls that seek -7sec, +30sec in my podcast player (Overcast) make Channels jump to commercial breaks or to other recordings.

  • Watching in bed without disturbing my light-sensitive partner. I'll put on a VisionHMD BigEyes H1, and connect that to my iPhone through a Lightning adapter. I then place the iPhone face-down, and it will lock itself. I'm strapped in and goggled. With the right muscle memory I might be able to find the lock screen's media forward/back buttons, but that would be hit-or-miss. There is effectively zero chance I can unlock and navigate through the scrolling playback speed menu. And simply picking up the phone for any of this fumbling creates an unwelcome lighting disturbance.

I've surveyed a handful of small Bluetooth media remotes, hoping to have quiet tactile control of the iOS player. They all pretty much behave like the car's steering wheel controls, and unlike the Apple TV remote. The best approximation I've found so far is the Satechi R2, with which I can carefully hold down the forward/backward controls for continuous scan.

But I still can't control playback speed. And now we're trying to juggle three competing sets of habits for the same core features; some bearing high penalties for simple mistakes.


All of which is to say: I'd appreciate being able to remap remote key input. Prioritizing…

  • remap chapter forward/back buttons into simple timeline skip ahead/back and vice-versa.

  • introduce any other available button to cycle through playback speeds.

Or ideally: to allow some key to bring up a discreet overlay playback speed control which responds to volume up/down until dismissed. This, honestly, would be huge for me on Apple TV as well.

Thanks for your consideration! I really do adore this app on Apple TV and on-screen in iOS.