As far as I’m qualified, it’s still just a concept and has a lot to mature.
1 - Use
In fact, a smartphone screen can do in a few taps the same as ten or more physical remotes would do. The differential here would be convenience, not the usage experience. Personally, I prefer the tv remote control over the smartphone in certain situations where: a) I don’t want to look at the illuminated phone screen after a long time in a dark room; b) I need a more responsive body-control reading, which the tactile sense allows and the visual sense doesn’t; c) the issue of direct access to YT sections (see topic 3).
2 - Value
I have my doubts as to whether the experience with smartohone control would exceed or have exceeded the demand for the comfort of a physical remote control. For example, YT recently added three new sections to your app’s main page: Music, Games, and Recent (here and here). After some internet complaints about the distance created between the Home and Library sections, the app changed again and reordered the main menu items, not from the top, but from the center. Distances have been shortened and access has been made easier, but everything has been confusing and unintuitive, minimizing the problem without solving it. This shows the value of classic navigation (physical remote control) vs. touch navigation (phone) in the decision of media companies, especially if you remember that tv apps just keep getting more complex each year and gaining new functions and buttons.
3 - Architecture
This is the worst ground for my limitations: find out how to get direct access to YT sections without going through menus. I came up with three alternatives, but since the first idea is always the most interesting and also the most unreal, I’ll leave it last:
- Macros - would dispense with any additional devices, but are unreliable depending on the context of use and still access menus.
- Cloning - A copy to emulate YT App interface, with identifiable key-sections in the source code so that YTC can map these IDs (any copyright issue here).
- Partnership - Google is a modern company with a very user-sensitive attitude, and a crowdfunding campaign itself could propose a YT partnership to release only the portion of the source code needed for remote access (any daydreams here? )