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Rumor: Apple could be plotting new multitouch Bluetooth remote, OS X El Capitan beta reveals

A file reportedly discovered in the second beta of Apple's next-generation desktop operating system suggests that the company is exploring a new kind of Bluetooth-enabled remote control, potentially hinting at future plans for the Apple TV set-top box.

The file, called "AppleBluetoothRemote.kext," is said to contain references to a remote control with an integrated Bluetooth module, multitouch trackpad, and support for audio playback or recording. The kext extension indicates it is an OS X kernel extension, which is used to dynamically load code into the kernel.

It does not appear in the first beta of OS X El Capitan— which was handed out earlier this month during the Worldwide Developers Conference— or in the recent OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 beta, as noted by 9to5Mac.

Apple is believed to be planning to include just such a touchpad-based remote when it eventually releases new Apple TV hardware. It is likely to be slightly thicker than the current Apple TV remote to account for the touchpad, but will retain the play/pause and menu buttons.

Other reports have suggested that a new Apple TV might come with support for Siri, which could fit with the audio capabilities supposedly seen in the kernel extension. Amazon's FireTV uses its own remote as a microphone for voice control, a possible model for Apple's new hardware.

The latest beta of OS X El Capitan was also found to support the 4,096-by-2,304-pixel resolution, which has led to speculation that it could reveal a new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina display. However, that resolution is the standard for 4K content, so its inclusion is not necessarily solid evidence of a new iMac.