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The current does fluctuate in a few cases. If your Siri Remote’s battery is completely drained, the charging IC will boost the current so that the remote can function immediately. Apple could also change the firmware to alter the charging current. Regardless of firmware settings, the charging IC is designed to prevent the battery from overheating. This is a feature I’d love to see in the iPhone’s charging IC. According to the Texas Instruments BQ24250C documentation:
“an internal control loop monitors the IC junction temperature and reduces the charge current if the internal temperature threshold is exceeded. Additionally, a voltage-based battery pack thermistor monitoring input (TS) is included that monitors battery temperature for safe charging.”
This seems to be the case, as I’ve never experienced a warm Siri Remote while charging. That’s not true of the iPhone. If you charge an iPhone with an iPad charger, it will get warm, and that’s bad for the battery. I know people debate this, but it’s a fact. It can be proven with a thermometer, but people still feel the need to debate this fact.
According to Apple, it takes about two and a half hours to fully charge the remote. I’ve personally found it to take longer. The battery icon on the Remotes and Devices screen displays a lightning bolt icon when the Siri Remote is charging. You can check the charge status by going to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote.
It may be a good idea to set Apple TV’s sleep timer to the lowest value before plugging in the charger. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Sleep After on your Apple TV. Whenever I charge my Siri Remote, it always turns on my Apple TV. Since Apple TV will consume power and network bandwidth when it’s on, it’s best to turn it off while charging the remote. Of course, you can charge your remote and use your Apple TV at the same time, even if your remote is charging in a different room. Let’s take a look at how to do this.
Use Remote App While Siri Remote is Charging
Apple’s Remote App has been around for almost a decade. It was originally intended to control iTunes, but was eventually updated to support Apple TV. Several months after Apple TV 4 launched, Apple finally updated the app to work with the new TV appliance. It even works with Siri and features a gaming mode with game-specific controls. You can download and install the Remote App from the App Store. It’s completely free.
It’s also possible to use just about any remote with Apple TV. Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Learn Remote for more information. This will work with just about any remote, including the aluminum Apple Remote. My old Apple Remote actually worked with my new Apple TV, without any additional configuration. Of course, it isn’t as capable as the Siri Remote. At best, you can navigate menus, launch apps and control media playback. That may be sufficient as you wait for your Siri Remote to charge.