Go from smartphone to remote control

Go From Smartphone to Remote Control

The following is a guest post written by Bre Carter.

If you are anything like me, you probably talk less on your smartphone than any other activity. Texting, searching Google, playing games, and posting to Facebook all consume much more time than actually using the device for its main purpose. Communicating with each other has kind of devolved into a text based system that places a steep value on literacy. Fortunately for those who do not want to read, you can also turn your smartphone into a cool remote control for your home theater.

Most home theater systems require you to own several different remotes in order to control what you see and hear. This practice of remote control overload gets confusing really fast and keeps people from watching DVD’s or operating other cool features on their systems. By converting your smartphone into a remote control, you can do away with your useless remotes and enjoy the media that you want to.

Google TV Remote app
Google TV Remote app

Instead of going out and purchasing a brand new remote with a specialized interface, most people are deciding to download free apps and products that convert their smartphones into remotes. While still costing up to $100, using a smartphone is a much cheaper option than the existing smart products on the market.

In order to use an app installed on an iPhone, you must purchase additional equipment from a retailer. Most televisions rely on an infrared system to communicate information with remote controls. According to PC World, you need to use products like NewKinetix for iPhone, or AV/Shadow for Android and Blackberry devices.

One of the most useful ways to control your television through your smartphone is the DVR. Companies like Direct TV, DISH, and AT&T U-Verse all have mobile websites that allow you to program your television. If you want to watch Jerry Springer, but have to work during the day, you can program the show from your office and have it waiting for you when you get back.

While the market for smartphone remote apps may be weak right now, once people start purchasing more smart televisions the need will start to increase. In order to get more brand recognition with consumers, brands like Samsung and Google will want to immerse their image in the minds of all of those watching with free apps.

If you are still only using your smartphone to make calls, or look up unknown numbers through Anywho.com, you are missing out on a wide world of diverse entertainment. Try exploring the App Store or the Android Market in order to find remote control options that fit your needs.

Editor’s Note: In our household, we use many Android remote control apps to manipulate our WiFi connected devices, including Google TV remote, Roku Wi-Fi Remote and GMote (used to control a laptop connected to a TV via HDMI). All of these apps connect to the device you’re controlling via Wi-Fi, so no additional equipment is necessary.

About this Guest Author: Bre Carter is a journalism student at Saint Louis University. Upon graduation, she hopes to travel the world while producing compelling content for the masses. When she isn’t writing, you can find Bre with her nose in a book, or her headphones in to block out the rest of the world.

About Wes Novack

Wesley Novack is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has a breadth of experience in online publishing, the consumer electronics industry, and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, skateboarding, hiking, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyTech.

View all posts by Wes Novack →

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