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  • iPhones Taking "Control"

    Image Via iPhoneappreviews.net


    Gone is the era when the television remote control was a fascinating, much cherished device and beloved member of the family.

    By conventional standards, the TV remote is old hat - nothing new or exciting. And while still practical and very helpful around the living room, its stature has been steadily diminished by a wide array of much neater, sexier gadgets in recent years.

    This summer served yet another blow to the ego of remote controls everywhere, as advancements in the smartphone realm continue at a pace that could very well see the television remote facing extinction before the familiar little gadgets can even brace for it - like an asteroid penetrating our atmosphere to obliterate the dinosaurs before the poor creatures even knew what him 'em.

    Okay, maybe that's a little too dramatic. But, still, an article published this morning in the San Francisco Chronicle points to how the iPhone is further adapting to our "control issues" at a quickened pace.

    Apple has made it possible for iPhone and iPod Touch users to control their iTunes program or Apple TV through a downloadable application called Remote. Sonos, the maker of multi-room music systems, released a free iPhone app that allows customers to use their iPhone instead of a Sonos remote. And last week, Apple approved an app from iTV that allows consumer electronics makers to easily build iPhone apps that can serve as remote controls. ITV said the first devices to get the support are TiVo digital video recorders.
    The prospect of iPhones likely becoming the new generation of TV and DVR remote controls is an intriguing possibility. By effectively serving as a second screen - one controlled via touch screen, with video previews of programming, and possibly voice operated controls - the old fashioned TV remote couldn't possibly compete.

    "You'll see the phone as a remote control more and more," said John McFarlane, CEO of Sonos. "It's better than any infrared device you've picked up. It's a wonderful platform, and you don't have to train someone to work with another device."

    As the article suggests, the future is still being written. But electronics-makers and cable companies are endlessly fascinated by this concept. And the newfound emphasis on our smartphones controlling the simple facets and tasks of our life could dramatically change all that we are familiar with in home entertainment.

    "I don't know anyone who loves the remote control," he said. "It's either line of sight issues, or for me I have to change the batteries. Or you grab the wrong one. If people are consuming more media, to have an application that eases their burdens makes a lot of sense."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhones Taking "Control" started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. T4R06's Avatar
      T4R06 -
      this is so cool!
    1. CyberDad's Avatar
      CyberDad -
      Yes, but all my equipment works on IR or RF. How will the iphone control those units? Another $200.00 dollar box perhaps? I do not think so....

      CY
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Why can't the iphone be a universal remote? I should be able to control my tv cable box dvd player.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Directv get on board!
    1. armani107's Avatar
      armani107 -
      nice!!
    1. Go Gators's Avatar
      Go Gators -
      The Logitech Harmony One remote control is the best remote I have ever owned. It is touch screen, controls all of my devices and is very very simple to set up.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Companies need to start making devices (like DVD players) that are controlled over wifi. Then an app for the iPhone can be made to control it. Only then could the iPhone ever be a universal remote.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Awesome, but my TV in my room doesn't use wifi since it is an old TV. Maybe the 52" inch TV would...
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Directv!
    1. tonightalive's Avatar
      tonightalive -
      They might be referencing the rumor/plan to eventually link the iPhone into AT&T's U-verse setup. I read a while back that AT&T plans on trying to let you download shows from your DVR to your iPhone and program your DVR through the iPhone, so adding a remote function doesn't seem too farfetched. Too bad this wouldn't apply to most people, I don't know the percentage of homes with U-verse, but since U-verse comes as a TV/Phone/Wireless bundle, it would be a logical and very cool option to have.

      Found the link, Reuters: AT&T planning to integrate iPhone with U-verse, unfortunately it's already a year old .
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      While nice in theory it is much different in execution. For instance I just used my Navigon app for a trip with my iPhone 3G. While it is a nice program, the all in one device hindered it's performance because of calls coming in and when we were in areas that we wanted to check Safari you have to close out of the program entirely and stop off some where to do so if you are in a city. While I drove and my girlfriend handled the iPhone responsibilities it became more of a headache than it was worth. Not to mention we had to keep it plugged into the car charger because apps that stay on continuously drain the battery.

      I can see using it as a remote but when you are channel surfing and a call comes in you have to stop what you are doing and answer if it is important.

      Having the iPhone has made me realize having stand alone devices is actually more efficient at times than putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

      Remote controls won't be dying off anytime soon.
    1. GTOpilot's Avatar
      GTOpilot -
      Is this wifi control only? If so, only the newer stuff would work with it?
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      While nice in theory it is much different in execution. For instance I just used my Navigon app for a trip with my iPhone 3G. While it is a nice program, the all in one device hindered it's performance because of calls coming in and when we were in areas that we wanted to check Safari you have to close out of the program entirely and stop off some where to do so if you are in a city. While I drove and my girlfriend handled the iPhone responsibilities it became more of a headache than it was worth. Not to mention we had to keep it plugged into the car charger because apps that stay on continuously drain the battery.

      I can see using it as a remote but when you are channel surfing and a call comes in you have to stop what you are doing and answer if it is important.

      Having the iPhone has made me realize having stand alone devices is actually more efficient at times than putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

      Remote controls won't be dying off anytime soon.
      I agree. I just cant see myself using this to replace the remote . I try not to let the iphone replace other gadgets , but instead to use it as a convenience at a time where the other gadget is not around . I still like my Garmin for travel and my netbook for browsing .
      I dont like having to use the power or home buttons as much because that would be the first thing to go on the iphone .
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      too much for one device in my opinion
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      I'd like to know which of the current lists of iphone remote control apps are the best right now. I'd use it for my Windows 7 Media Center CableCard DVR setup. I see a lot of results when I search int the app store. I'm happy with my Harmony One, but I'd like to use my iPhone if the app is slick enough.
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      Companies need to start making devices (like DVD players) that are controlled over wifi. Then an app for the iPhone can be made to control it. Only then could the iPhone ever be a universal remote.
      Home AV convergence has always been my pet peeve. IR is as old to Bluetooth as mechanical remotes were to IR. Harmony Remotes are now the closest idea to that convergence, but it's time for the AV manufacturers to 'kick it up a notch'. I would like my iPhone to be a completely configurable remote.
    1. Fhadso's Avatar
      Fhadso -
      and IR adapter that connects via the headphone jack.
      Satellite boxes equipped with Bluetooth.
      Internet-Based control, i.e. account data put onto your iDevice.
      Existing Dish Network recievers have USB built in, perhaps a 802.11 abg adapter?
    1. acascio05's Avatar
      acascio05 -
      Some tv's are being built with bluetooth. All you need to do is have the bluetooth work in fashion with the iphone like the bluetooth keyboard and mouse's on mac's and then there you have it any phone with bluetooth can be a remote that has the program for it.
    1. Frostbite's Avatar
      Frostbite -
      I mean I have a whole folder of remote apps but to tell the truth I don't use them a whole lot. I do like the one that acts like a front row remote, its handy cause I lose the real one all the time.