Did you know that you can use your iPhone for TV remote?
It shouldn’t be surprising, considering everything else it can do. The iPhone is the multi-tool of the modern age, not only can it make phone calls, but it gives us driving directions, shows us the best restaurants, and can check us in for a flight. They can also check our email, act as an encyclopedia (does anyone even remember what those are?) and entertain us, all at the same time. There isn’t much your iPhone can’t do for you.
Any smartphone can become a universal remote with the use of an IR (infrared) blaster. The blaster takes the commands from your phone and converts them to an IR signal to control your various devices. We are going to cover a few of the more popular units, which will let you use your iPhone for TV remote or to control any other functions in your entertainment arsenal.
Apple has their own remote application, which works with all iOS devices. It is a free app available in the Apple iTunes Store. This works with Wi-Fi and does not require an IR device, however, it only works with Apple iOS devices. This is particularly useful for Apple TV, as it allows you to use the iPhones on-screen keyboard for searches rather than the point and click method that Apple TV normally utilizes.
This program uses an IR beacon and utilizes your existing Wi-Fi connection to send commands to a variety of equipment. This is for whole-home automation allowing you to control almost every aspect of your home with the touch of a button. This is a high-end program that lets you create customized menus and key layouts for each device. You can share the program with up to five iPhones, so that each will work as a remote, controlling the entire house.
This is a free application available from the iTunes Store; however, you do need to buy the IR adapter. It requires the L5 Remote IR adapter, which plugs directly into the iPhone. This allows your iPhone to react just like any other universal remote, from which you can control your TV, stereo, DVD, or Blu-ray player.
This is a self-contained unit that plugs into your audio jack and can be used on any iOS or Android devices. There is no download required. Everything it needs is programmed directly into the dongle. It is pre-programmed with a variety of standard codes, but can also learn new ones, which makes it compatible with all of your entertainment equipment.
A personal media assistant that has many customizable options, including personalized menus, recommendations, and favorites. This program will even allow you to get recommendations from your Facebook friends. It uses a Griffin Beacon and a Bluetooth connection to translate your commands into an IR signal to control everything form your television to your Xbox gaming system.
This works similarly to the Digit system, however, it can work with a wider variety of equipment including PCs, Kindle Fire, iOS, and Android devices. You can program different profiles to cover devices in separate rooms of the house and share those profiles with others. It even allows you to coordinate programming and viewing schedules with other members of your household.
This uses an IR dongle and is only available for iOS devices. Its has an extensive code database already programmed and is capable of learning any commands from new devices, as you go along. With the Rē you can control any IR compatible device. Like most of the others, this unit allows you to create customized menus.
This app uses a Global Cache hardware to transmit the IR signal to various devices. The hardware gives you a wider range of controls and can be used for more than just your television, it can be used to automate your entire house. It can control everything from your entertainment system to your garage door and thermostat.
With a simple app and a couple of pieces of equipment you can use your iPhone for TV remote or to activate your whole entertainment system. Some of these systems will even let you automate your entire home. It’s amazing what you can do with a smartphone these days, they are truly the multi-tool of the 2010s. How long will it be before they are capable of even more and become like the sonic screwdriver from “Dr. Who”?