Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Pairing Problems | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy | How to Block Spam Calls | Snapchat Symbol Meaning

author photo

The Best Way to Turn Your iPhone into a Remote Control

posted by on May 04, 2011 in Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Music and Video, Guides & Reviews :: 4 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

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.



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.

Discussion loading

Nice Guy

From Mike on May 05, 2011 :: 5:25 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


Can I use my Htc

From ken on May 14, 2011 :: 12:01 pm

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


Yes, but...

From Josh Kirschner on May 15, 2011 :: 11:52 pm

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.



From cygnett on August 16, 2011 :: 8:36 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!


Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships
Accessibility Statement
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.