Here is a list of the top ten apps that turn your smartphone into a universal remote control for all devices in your home; finally you can get rid of that heap of remotes you have.
While virtual every gadget for home entertainment and other uses except your phone comes with a remote, the modern home is filled with such devices, and at times it can get messy having so many remotes on your coffee table. If you are a tech geek like me, you may be looking for an app that turns the only device that does not have a remote, android or iPhone, into your universal remote.
Most remote apps require a separately sold piece of hardware to go along with it. This other device pairs with your phone and acts as the interpreter to help your app communicate with Infrared command and other supported modes of your devices. Turning your phone into a universal remote will give you control over your home without always worrying about misplacing the remote or which is for which device.
Here are the best universal remote apps to be on the lookout for
1. Dijit Universal Remote Control
Dijit is a universal remote control app for your TV, players and other devices from your smartphone. The key features of this app are custom menus and program guide for your favorites TV shows. It is supported on android and iPhone and requires the Griffin Beacon to function. This device pairs with the iPhone or android via Bluetooth and acts as the transducer changing the commands from the app on the phone into the respective IR ones that are understood by your remote controlled devices.
- This app is totally worth every buck as it has real functionality and can replace all your remotes with just the one
- Android smart phone and iPhone available.
- This app is not that cheap with its hardware going for $80 on the owner’s website.
Using a special hardware that is prerequisite this app will give you control over all your Wi-Fi enable home devices. Any device that is capable of trans-receiving Wi-Fi signals be it your AC, lighting system iRule is the ultimate control center app for your smart home. it has two version the basic one going for $50 comes with support for 3 remotes and the pro version goes for $100 with the capability of supporting up to five remote. The app is supported for both Android and iPhone on Google Play Store and iTunes App Store respectively. And you can get support on the devices supported at iRule Support
- iRule is supported for both Android and IPhone/iPad so you do not have to ditch your smartphone just to use this app.
- This app will give you control over a wide variety of home appliances not just your PC as with some apps.
- The app is expensive and its hardware is also quite expensive selling anywhere from $100 to $300 on the iRule website.
- You must have a pre-existing home Wi-Fi network without which you cannot really use this app.
The RedEye app takes after the Dijit, it has a base station that acts as and the intermediary between the smartphone and your remote controlled devices. You can put away all your remotes and enjoy universal control from your, iPhone and your PC. This kind of power is not going to be handed to you for free though; it will cost you about $200 for the base station which you can find on Thinkflood.
- You can control a wide range infrared signal controlled of devices on this app
- If your family and friends want to share the fun they can all download the app and use your station simultaneously.
- This app requires hardware to function and is neither cheap nor free.
- There is no support for android on the Google Play Store at this time but you can try the app from other sites at your own risk.
At fourth place is Zmart with its multi-platform support with android and iOS support and a unique hardware. The hardware that pairs with this software is a dongle unlike the other apps of its kind that use a separate base station to transmit their IR signals. The dongle plugs into your audio jack and therefore is less likely to disrupt your phone usage. This device alone has the ability to speak over 200, 000 machine languages that are supported by almost any AV receiver you can find in the market today.
- Zmart is supported for both android and iOS operating systems
- It has one of the largest collection of control codes among its peers
- Like most other remote apps it relies on the hardware to work and will cost you more.
5. Unified remote
This app will blow your mind with its unique ability to turn you android, iPhone and Windows Phone into a single touch and even multi-touch mouse device. But no sir, that is not all it can do! The Unified remote app stops at more than 70 apps on your windows, Mac & iOS, Linux platforms. We are talking power management, keyboard, media and files screen etc. you can also get the app from Amazon App Store, Galaxy App Store and Bemobi App Store
- Unified remote is truly unifying with its ideal cross-platform abilities. Being supported on all your devices
- Controls quite a number of applications on your PC
6. Roomies Remote (Simple Control Legacy)
This Cypher soft production will cost you around $10 only for any number of rooms and devices with infra-red (IR), IP and Rs-32 devices support. It will cram any new IR commands that you may need and that are not included in the package. Download android and the iTunes version.
- It is fully functional and you get value for your money with a wide variety of in app purchases.
- It will cost you more to add functionality
7. Hippo remote lite
This app has the programming necessary to turn iPhone or iPad into a mouse or keyboard to use on your PC. You hardly need a wireless mouse with this app which is you can get from the iTunes App store. The computer application is available for windows and mac where it’s both free an open source.
- You can enjoy customizing your backgrounds in the feature-rich app which has a browser and Boxee Gesture Pad
- Free and open source software
- This app can be quite a headache to set up on ac with the Install service.
It will not work without the dongle.
8. VLC remote control
The good news is here! You can now use your smartphone to control your VLC player on your PC hands-free. This app is available for iPhone from the iTunes app store and android from the Google play store.
This app takes over control of your VLC player from your iPhone.
To set up the VLC Remote control you need to install the VLC Re mote Helper on your PC which you can download from the official website.
- It is free app
You can take over all controls from your phone
- The app controls only the VLC media player.
9. X box SmartGlass
To hype your Xbox experience you can try this great app which can make your iPhone, windows Phone, Android phone or windows tablet an alternative display and enable you to control your TV experience from the comfort of the couch. You can even browse the internet on your TV screen
- This app has many utilities in one is very platform tolerant so you can use it on your device too.
- Will not work with older version of android below Android 4.0
10. iTunes Remote
Remote , an app from Apple, is a high quality iPhone app the can enable you to use it as a remote controller for iTunes.
- Unlike other similar remote apps, no software is required on the PC side to function.
- It requires a preexisting home network to function.
The best remote is certainly not the free kind, and you will certainly have to invest some money to get real value. That said, the key consideration here is not how expensive, but it is rather all about the functionality of the remote app and simplicity for ease of use.