Samsung WachON is an underrated feature.

ChrisTX

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
2,682
52
Texas
I know other phones also have IR blasters, but surprisingly, many do not. However last night I was in a crowded restaurant and needed to get the TV channel changed so I could watch a certain college football game. Unable to get anyone in the restaurant to help, I was able to do it myself with my Note 3 and the super convenient WatchON app! Outside of being able to play jokes on people by randomly changing the channel at crowded sports bars, sometimes this app just really comes in handy! Who else uses this app?
 

mercuryjones

macrumors 6502a
May 31, 2005
786
0
College Station, TX
I know other phones also have IR blasters, but surprisingly, many do not. However last night I was in a crowded restaurant and needed to get the TV channel changed so I could watch a certain college football game. Unable to get anyone in the restaurant to help, I was able to do it myself with my Note 3 and the super convenient WatchON app! Outside of being able to play jokes on people by randomly changing the channel at crowded sports bars, sometimes this app just really comes in handy! Who else uses this app?
You might want to be really careful what channels and what TVs you use this on. Some people might not take too kindly to your "joke".
 

ChrisTX

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
2,682
52
Texas
You might want to be really careful what channels and what TVs you use this on. Some people might not take too kindly to your "joke".
I rarely use this app for satire purposes but in this case no one was watching the TV so it was totally harmless. Plus as soon as I got the game on everyone started watching, so it was actually a win/win! :cool:
 

cdmoore74

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2010
2,413
711
I love my IR blaster and it's something that every smartphone should have. It's just another thing added to my list of negatives for Apple devices. While WatchOn is nice I found a even more powerful IR remote app called "smart remote". It's updated on a regular basis and you can incorporate multiple remotes on one page with custom colors and resizable buttons. Or create custom widgets on your home screen.
 

pdqgp

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2010
2,131
5,460
While WatchOn is nice I found a even more powerful IR remote app called "smart remote". It's updated on a regular basis and you can incorporate multiple remotes on one page with custom colors and resizable buttons. Or create custom widgets on your home screen.
^^ this. I use Smart Remote. Came in very handy when my father was in the hospital. Their TV's had a USB plug but according to the nurses, their IT Dept wouldn't allow them to change inputs on the TV from whatever their source is to USB So my father could watch a move. I just downloaded the IR Remote for that model to my Note 3 and viola, was able to change just about anything I wanted and made it so my father could watch what he wanted. :cool:
 

Shuri

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2011
330
0
I love my IR blaster and it's something that every smartphone should have. It's just another thing added to my list of negatives for Apple devices. While WatchOn is nice I found a even more powerful IR remote app called "smart remote". It's updated on a regular basis and you can incorporate multiple remotes on one page with custom colors and resizable buttons. Or create custom widgets on your home screen.
No, every Television set should have a bluetooth/wifi interface for remote control. That would also prohibit use of the IR interface by random devices.. ;)

I agree a IR blaster can be nice, but Apple is known for "looking forward" like they didn't use bluray or Adobe Flash for instance.. All in all I'd favor TV set makers to adopt a new Standard for remotes.
 

ChrisTX

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
2,682
52
Texas
Says the person who's smartphone doesn't have an IR blaster. No need to try and change the game just to fit their agenda. Plus this isn't a deal breaker for me just an added bonus. ;)
 

pdqgp

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2010
2,131
5,460
I agree a IR blaster can be nice, but Apple is known for "looking forward" like they didn't use bluray or Adobe Flash for instance.. All in all I'd favor TV set makers to adopt a new Standard for remotes.
An IR blaster is one of the things I liked about my 2005 Samsung smartphone.

Even back then, it came with a built-in remote control app:
^^ that's what I define as Looking Forward. Besides, while Apple is Looking Forward, their competition who is also Looking Forward, is delivering what people are in need of today. Visionaries are great, but there also needs to be a degree of execution that delivers real-time too.
 
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corriewf

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2009
971
87
No, every Television set should have a bluetooth/wifi interface for remote control. That would also prohibit use of the IR interface by random devices.. ;)

I agree a IR blaster can be nice, but Apple is known for "looking forward" like they didn't use bluray or Adobe Flash for instance.. All in all I'd favor TV set makers to adopt a new Standard for remotes.
No no no. I have such a tv and use my iPad/phone as a remote. Wifi goes down your screwed. You can't turn the tv on, because it's not connected to wifi yet. And then sometimes the sync is lost. It's a lot messier.
 

khha4113

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2013
202
11
I know other phones also have IR blasters, but surprisingly, many do not. However last night I was in a crowded restaurant and needed to get the TV channel changed so I could watch a certain college football game. Unable to get anyone in the restaurant to help, I was able to do it myself with my Note 3 and the super convenient WatchON app! Outside of being able to play jokes on people by randomly changing the channel at crowded sports bars, sometimes this app just really comes in handy! Who else uses this app?
It was one feature I've missed when I changed S4 to Nexus 5. I'd used it for all my Tvs and set-top boxes in the house.
 

cdmoore74

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2010
2,413
711
No, every Television set should have a bluetooth/wifi interface for remote control. That would also prohibit use of the IR interface by random devices.. ;)

I agree a IR blaster can be nice, but Apple is known for "looking forward" like they didn't use bluray or Adobe Flash for instance.. All in all I'd favor TV set makers to adopt a new Standard for remotes.
But every TV, stereo system, set top box and stuff like lights or ac units do not have Bluetooth/WiFi. After decades upon decades of equipment releases IR is still king. And Apple can't do anything to change it. I'm willing to bet that 9 out of 10 Blackfriday tv's sold next month will not have Bluetooth.
If Apple keeps looking forward they will be left behind. Just look at the 5.5" iPhone. A year prior Apple was making fun of large phones.

To me there are zero negatives to incorporate IR blasters into phones. The IR dot on top of my Note 3 is less than 1mm in diameter. Slightly larger than a mic hole.
 
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Shuri

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2011
330
0
Says the person who's smartphone doesn't have an IR blaster. No need to try and change the game just to fit their agenda. Plus this isn't a deal breaker for me just an added bonus. ;)
Is it directed at me? How do you know my Handset? :p
I'm not against incorporating IR Blaster in a phone. It's cool. Just saying I see much better solutions.

^^ that's what I define as Looking Forward. Besides, while Apple is Looking Forward, their competition who is also Looking Forward, is delivering what people are in need of today. Visionaries are great, but there also needs to be a degree of execution that delivers real-time too.
I've written "Looking Forward" and not Looking Forward for a reason. ;)
They do what they think is right (as any other company on earth) and sometimes they famously change their minds (iPad Mini, iPhone 6PLus).
I like the way they sometimes didn't use something everyone tells they should, when they think it's not sufficient (for whatever reason).

No no no. I have such a tv and use my iPad/phone as a remote. Wifi goes down your screwed. You can't turn the tv on, because it's not connected to wifi yet. And then sometimes the sync is lost. It's a lot messier.
I said Bluetooth or wifi. I don't see that problem with a Bluetooth system.

But every TV, stereo system, set top box and stuff like lights or ac units do not have Bluetooth/WiFi. After decades upon decades of equipment releases IR is still king. And Apple can't do anything to change it. I'm willing to bet that 9 out of 10 Blackfriday tv's sold next month will not have Bluetooth.
If Apple keeps looking forward they will be left behind. Just look at the 5.5" iPhone. A year prior Apple was making fun of large phones.

To me there are zero negatives to incorporate IR blasters into phones. The IR dot on top of my Note 3 is less than 1mm in diameter. Slightly larger than a mic hole.
IR is king being cheapest, not best solution.
You're right, there are zero negatives to build in an IR blaster into a phone. But there are many negatives in not using a bluetooth solution (on top if you want) in the TV. I wasn't saying phone makers are wrong using IR. I say TV makers (and others) are wrong using a inferior solution. How nobody came out with something better is beyond me.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,612
9,252
IR is king being cheapest, not best solution.
You're right, there are zero negatives to build in an IR blaster into a phone. But there are many negatives in not using a bluetooth solution (on top if you want) in the TV. I wasn't saying phone makers are wrong using IR. I say TV makers (and others) are wrong using a inferior solution. How nobody came out with something better is beyond me.
BT and Wifi requires a constant connection.

IR doesn't, which is why a pair of double or triple A batteries can last over a year.

And how would you manage multi device integrated remotes with BT? Can you even have 3 or more connections at the same time? Too many people have it set up that the volume button controls the TV or Home theater receiver, while the channels buttons control the cable or multimedia box. I just see BT as more of an inconvenience, even if it's implemented in TVs and etc.

Another problem with WiFi and BT is how do you turn on stuff when your TV and other devices are off? It's simpler to just use a WiFi or RC controller with ir sensors attached to each device if you want that type of control it from anywhere connection. Sort of like how those Logitech Harmony remotes work.
 

spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,552
3,512
Only issue I have with smartphone remotes is lack of buttons, I mean real physical buttons that I can press without looking at the screen. Heck I've had smartphone remote control apps since the days of windows mobile 10 years ago, and even further back with Palm, but I've never stuck with them because I hate looking down every single keypress I make.

It's great in a pinch though as the OP points out, and must be great fun to mess with the bar patrons.
 

cdmoore74

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2010
2,413
711
I'm not against incorporating IR Blaster in a phone. It's cool. Just saying I see much better solution
You're right, there are zero negatives to build in an IR blaster into a phone. But there are many negatives in not using a bluetooth solution (on top if you want) in the TV. I wasn't saying phone makers are wrong using IR. I say TV makers (and others) are wrong using a inferior solution. How nobody came out with something better is beyond me.
It's easier to incorporate a sensor that cost less than $1 than trying to change a multi-billion dollar industry. No one including Apple will be able to do this.
 

cdmoore74

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2010
2,413
711
Only issue I have with smartphone remotes is lack of buttons, I mean real physical buttons that I can press without looking at the screen. Heck I've had smartphone remote control apps since the days of windows mobile 10 years ago, and even further back with Palm, but I've never stuck with them because I hate looking down every single keypress I make.

It's great in a pinch though as the OP points out, and must be great fun to mess with the bar patrons.
That's why you got to make your buttons bigger. Using smart remote you can have 1 big fat button, color code them or what ever you want. But no phone will replicate real physical buttons. You're stuck with multiple remotes or a universal.
 

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F123D

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2008
3,776
16
Del Mar, CA
I loved the IR blaster feature when I had the Note 3 for a brief time.

Could someone link the smart remote app? I'm coming up with a lot of different results when I search for it.
 

ChrisTX

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
2,682
52
Texas
It looks like I need to download smart remote. However the only way I see Apple making this better is by making the experience much more intuitive. It can be difficult to get this working with public TV's if you don't know what you're doing. ;) Either way it's great not having to hunt for my remote or get up and get it if it's across the room when my Note 3 is always close by.
 

Mxbzz

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2012
346
137
I loved the IR blaster feature when I had the Note 3 for a brief time.

Could someone link the smart remote app? I'm coming up with a lot of different results when I search for it.
$6.99 in the App store. Definitely the best IR app available. I miss being able to control my living room tower fan from my phone (Oneplus One), but it gives me a reason to get off the couch I guess.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.remotefairy
 
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