Can my phone be a universal remote?

Answered by Tom Adger

Your smartphone can definitely be turned into a universal remote with the help of various apps available on both Android and iOS platforms. Two popular options are AnyMote and Unified Remote, both of which are free to download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

1. AnyMote:
AnyMote is a powerful universal remote app that supports a wide range of devices such as TVs, DVD players, streaming devices, air conditioners, projectors, and more. It boasts an extensive database of over one million devices, ensuring compatibility with most popular brands. The app uses the built-in infrared (IR) blaster present in some smartphones to control infrared-enabled devices, while also offering Wi-Fi control for devices that support it.

Key Features of AnyMote:
– Large device database: AnyMote supports a vast range of devices, making it suitable for controlling various electronics in your home.
– Customizable remotes: The app allows you to create custom remotes with personalized buttons, layouts, and macros for different devices or activities.
– Macros and Tasker integration: You can create macros to automate tasks or use Tasker integration to control your devices based on specific triggers or conditions.
– Widgets and Smartwatch support: AnyMote offers home screen widgets for easy access to your remotes, and it even supports controlling devices from your smartwatch.

2. Unified Remote:
Unified Remote is another excellent option for turning your smartphone into a universal remote. This app primarily focuses on controlling your computer or laptop, allowing you to use your phone as a wireless keyboard, mouse, and remote control. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, providing a unified solution for controlling different aspects of your computer.

Key Features of Unified Remote:
– Computer control: Unified Remote lets you control various functions of your computer, including mouse and keyboard input, media playback, power options, file management, and more.
– Pre-built remotes: The app offers pre-built remotes for popular applications like VLC, Spotify, Netflix, PowerPoint, and more, making it easy to control them from your phone.
– Custom remotes: You can create custom remotes with personalized buttons and layouts to control specific applications or perform specific tasks on your computer.
– Widgets and Quick Actions: Unified Remote provides home screen widgets and quick actions for instant access to your favorite remotes or functions.

It’s worth noting that the functionality and compatibility of these apps may vary depending on your smartphone’s hardware capabilities and the devices you want to control. Some smartphones lack an IR blaster, which means they can’t control devices that rely solely on infrared signals. In such cases, Wi-Fi control or additional hardware like an IR blaster dongle may be required.

Both AnyMote and Unified Remote offer powerful features and customization options to turn your smartphone into a universal remote. I recommend trying out both apps and seeing which one works best for your specific needs and devices.