iPad mini Mini as a remote

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Wheeler, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Wheeler macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #1
    Thinking the mini might be a great universal remote, among other things. My question is what apps & ir controllers do you use/recommend? I have the harmony link and it works well but only for one room, and I only use it when I can't find the remote. Looking for a whole house solution- anyone found a good solution they actually use?
     
  2. thelead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #2
    I've looked and looked without finding a good reliable solution. Your better off with a logitech harmony.
     
  3. LaNex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #3
    iRule for device control, Roomie Remote for the built in epg. Irule does take time to program but the investment of time (and additional hardware if needed) is worth it. Currently using a first gen ipad for this but i have a mini on order.
     
  4. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    i bet the iPad mini will play a role in the new TV thing they might be making
     
  5. ALMF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    #5
    I was going to buy remote hardware for my iphone but I am going to do it on the Mini. I like the idea of hidding my remotes and just using the iOS device. I currently have an app to control my Roku via Wi-Fi and it is nice having one remote less around the living room.

    I say Hide because a time or two I have had to pull out the actual Roku remote to control it. Apps have bugs i guess.
     
  6. HowardSmith macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #6
    My new Sony XBR HX65 is connected to the internet via WiFi and there is an app from Sony that controls you TV just like a remote
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    Tried this with iPhone and I don't like it. Just to bump the volume a notch you have to find and insert the IR dongle, press a button to wake the device, slide to unlock, enter password, swipe to find the app, launch the app, switch the orientation 180 degrees, then finally change the volume.

    After all that time has passed, you probably need to change the volume the other way because the next show is on.

    Even if you dedicate the device to being a remote by keeping the IR dongle in, having no password, and leaving the app running, you still have to wake the device and slide to unlock.

    I will take even a crappy universal remote with physical buttons over this any day.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    I agree.

    We have used a RedEye for some time now that works reasonably well as a wifi remote, but the reality is that tablets don't make great universal remotes. No button feedback makes multiple button presses difficult, and as noted, even without having the add-on IR piece, it's a pain having to quit what you are doing and open a remote app every time you want to make a change.

    That said, I had a Harmony remote and wasn't impressed either. Until all devices are on the same universal wifi standard and can report their current power state, universal remotes are just a whole lot of trouble, imo.
     
  9. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #9
    Unless you are single living alone, a mobile device generally will not be good to use as a remote. If you live with others, it will become the "good" remote and the others will be mad at you every time you take the "good" one out of the house. I suggest a dedicated remote too. I really like Universal Remote Control Inc. (MX 850) as a computer programmable learning remote with macros. For me, it is the "one remote to rule them all" and it adapts as I add new stuff.

    Certainly there is utility in using iDevices plus remote control apps too. But it will get messy if the mobile device leaves the house and others have to revert to the "bad" remotes while you are away with it.
     
  10. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #10
    i have 2 apple TV and apple tv is perfect for pairing with them... pandora, plex etc..
     
  11. MacAgnostic macrumors regular

    MacAgnostic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #11
    I disagree. In my experience, pure touch screens make terrible remotes.
    Imagine trying to navigate an On Screen Display without a proper physical d-pad control.

    Now if the OSD could actually appear on the iPad and you could directly interact with it...
     
  12. OsloBergen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #12
  13. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #13
    I'm arguing FOR a physical button remote.

    In my post, it doesn't become the "good" remote because it has- or does not have- physical buttons. It becomes the good remote because that how the rest of the household learns to control the A/V setup. Take it out on the road and they have to try to control the A/V with the backups.
     
  14. MacAgnostic macrumors regular

    MacAgnostic

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    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #14
    Ok, I agree there; "good remote" meaning the only useful remote.
     
  15. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #15
    i dont like the usage lag that comes along with the idevice as a remote. The whole wake up, unlock, open app, wait to connect issue is what is slow. Even if you have dont nothing else, the wake up, slide to unlock, wait to connect just to pause is frustrating.


    Now as an add on for using a keyboard to do a search, I enjoy it. So a combination of the phone and my harmony remote will always be the best compromise for me.
     
  16. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #16
    I find my harmony to be far more useful than my iphone or iPad, both of which I have configured with remote applications.

    FYI the non-technical people in my house even have a hard time with the Harmony remote... The only plus being that my son doesn't bother watching TV in the living room anymore. ;)
     
  17. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #17

    I saw this link at the bottom of the MR page: http://promotions.l5remote.com/buyl5/?gclid=CMPAhZX3q7MCFWGnPAodtl4ABw
     
  18. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #18
  19. phillypharm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #19
    has anyone used this?

    http://www.griffintechnology.com/beacon

    i'm tempted to try it out. doesn't seem to be that great though since the price has dropped from $80 to around $32 on amazon... but it might be cheap enough to give it a shot.
     
  20. LaNex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #20
    I can only imagine that most of you who are not having a great time with an ipad as a universal remote are using IR dongles rather than wifi to IR hardware units like the Global Cache stuff, or that you haven't used iRule. Or that you're really hard to please. ;)
    All of the problems listed above can be rectified with these two things - except the lack of physical buttons. I wouldn't be without my ipad / irule / gc wifi2ir setup. I have been able to put multiple remotes in a drawer and customise every aspect of my setup, with functionality that you can't get from the original remote (for example, with Air Control for the ATV2 plus iRule I can go straight to Netflix, or any other "app" on the ATV with one "button" press. Not a macro, - press down, press down, etc - I mean opening that "app" immediately.)

    It really is worth investing some time in, if you have it.

    (I don't work for iRule btw - I am just a very satisfied home theatre / home automation geek girl.)
     
  21. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #21
    The problem is that there's no low-cost conversion option. I have a bluetooth remote on one of my TVs but until the manufacturer writes a usable app I can't do anything with my idevices. My other TVs still rely on IR and the L5 is a nice toy, but not a ready solution.

    I have been using Harmony remotes for a few years and they really are the best lower-cost solution I've found. Very easy to set up macros online and then download to the remote.
     
  22. LaNex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #22
    You can set up basic irule plus the gc hardware for about a hundred and sixty quid (UK prices) so - that's an investment I agree, but you can do much more than you can do with a Harmony. I've had various Harmony remotes - my hubby uses a 525 that I set up for him, as he's totally blind so he wants hard buttons with little menu reliance and won't use irule with a screen reader on the ipad, although it is perfectly usable if it is set up correctly, as I use it like that all the time, being a semi blindie. I had their (Harmony's) ill fated first touchscreen 1000 model for one - but none of them are as customisable as irule. You can't open ios apps or web pages in a Harmony. Irule is nothing like the L5 toy, trust me.

    I'm going to stop now as I don't want to come across as a nut job ;), but really, irule and global cache hardware together are no toys - it's a powerful, totally customisable system which is miles away from the redeye (I've tried that one too fwiw) / L5 / dongle devices.
     
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    Nope, it's just that a) no physical feedback is awful for a remote. B) having to open an app to use the remote sucks. C) having to leave an iOS device around for whoever wants to use the system is not an ideal solution.

    Generally my Redeye system is fine and with our fairly simple system it is plenty powerful, but the reality is we use the regular remotes 99% of the time as its easier to dig them out than bother with an app.
     
  24. ALMF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    #24
    Just realized that I have to wait to use the mini as a remote. No lighting plug attachments yet from L5 or similar. Maybe some time soon.
     
  25. ZivaD macrumors member

    ZivaD

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    #25
    Pioneer's icontrolAV is superb on the iPhone and iPad, the smaller size of the mini will really lend itself to being a great remote, currently just amp and bluray though, amp settings access is a God send.
     

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