Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Spot a Fake Review | Back-School Tech & Tips | The Best Android Tablet | What's Draining Your Android Battery?

Choose It

author photo

The Best Way to Turn Your iPhone into a Remote Control

posted by Suzanne Kantra on May 05, 2011 in Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Music and Video, Guides & Reviews :: 4 comments

ThinkFlood RedEye lifestyle

ThinkFlood RedEye

If I were to line up all of the remote controls for the components I use with my TV, there’d be four, not including the game system controllers and keyboard. So I’ve tried out a number of universal remote controls, including some good ones such as the Acoustic Research Xsight. Like my other remotes, though, it always seems to get stuck in the sofa cushions or tucked into some improbable spot.

L5 Remote

L5 Remote

Unlike my remotes, my iPhone is rarely out of sight for long. So could any of the new iPhone solutions replace my remotes?

The short answer is yes. With its high-resolution touchscreen, the iPhone has a perfect display for controlling all of your gear. So when you load a remote control app and add an infrared transmitter to send commands to your components, you’re in business.

There are several solutions available, but three impress me.

For someone who wants a traditional universal remote experience, I’d go with the ThinkFlood RedEye mini ($25, plus free app on iTunes). You find your components in the RedEye app’s database and can then control components separately with screens that replicate each remote’s buttons. Plus you can set up activities, like “Watch TV,” which can have a custom set of buttons, including shortcuts to your favorite channels. The RedEye mini infrared transmitter plugs into your iPhone’s headphone jack, leaving the charging connector open.

Peel

Peel

If you’re looking for a custom solution, the L5 Universal Remote ($46, plus free app on iTunes) is the best solution. You can arrange and name just the buttons you want to use, or start with a preset layout for common devices, like cable boxes and TVs. You then “teach” the app each button’s command code by pointing your original remote at the L5 transmitter and pressing the button. The transmitter plugs into the charging connector.

There’s also the Peel Universal Controller ($99.95, plus free app on iTunes). It pairs a smart program guide with basic remote control functions like volume control, channel and source. Best of all, you don’t need to attach a transmitter to your iPhone. There’s a separate piece that receives commands from your iPhone via your home’s Wi-Fi network and pass them along as infrared codes to your components.

Depending on your needs and preferences, any one of these iPhone remote control solutions is a good choice. My favorite, though, is the Peel.

Subscribe to the Techlicious Daily Email!

Get the Techlicious Guide to Great Photography as your FREE gift!

Discussion loading

gravatar

Nice Guy

From Mike on May 05, 2011 :: 6:25 pm

I love the idea of controlling my components with my iPad.

If I were to use my phone, then I would have to get one of those lost key/remote finder… ‘cause I lose it all the time! LOL


mtdoonmeister at gmail dot com

Reply

gravatar

Can I use my Htc

From ken on May 14, 2011 :: 1:01 pm

Can I use my Htc incredible as a remote control for tv and such. Thank you

Reply

avatar

Yes, but...

From Josh Kirschner on May 16, 2011 :: 12:52 am

There are specific solutions for Samsung products, home media center PCs, and home automation systems (e.g., Crestron), but we’re not aware of any broad solutions that are as simple as what is available for iOS. If anyone has recommendations, please let us know.

Reply

gravatar

Awesome

From cygnett on August 16, 2011 :: 9:36 am

The more I research the iphone and ipad the more astounded I become from the functions these devices are capable of, this remote idea would be perfect for the single person, I couldn’t see it working in a family situation, the kids would always have my iphone! lol… hang on, would i still be able to use the other remotes? this opens a hole can of worms!

Reply

© 2014 Techlicious LLC. :: Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us :: Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

site design: Juxtaprose