Video Review: Pronto Turns Your iPhone Into a Smart Universal Remote

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, May 18, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Pronto is a small hub that's able to turn your iPhone into a universal remote, allowing it to control a range of electronics and devices within your home using 360 degree infrared. The Pronto connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and works with an accompanying Peel Smart Remote app, which provides the remote interface and lets you see what's on television through an included guide.

    As you can see in our video review below, the Peel app and the Pronto work together well, and with the included IR extension cable, you can put devices out of sight without losing the infrared connection.


    Pronto is compatible with a huge number of televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD players, and set top boxes. It can connect to and control almost any television set, and it works with the Apple TV, Roku players, and more. Compatibility information is available on the company's website.

    The Peel app includes simple controls for all devices and it makes it easy to switch between each one. There are also profiles available for different rooms, so the iPhone and Pronto pairing can essentially replace all of the remotes in the house.

    Smart remotes have been around for ages, and many technology companies already offer apps allowing the iPhone to control things like televisions and media players, but the Pronto goes one step further and lets you control all of your devices with one app. It's quite similar to Logitech's line of Harmony smart remotes, but without some of the bells and whistles and with a lower price.

    The Pronto can be purchased from Best Buy or NewEgg for $49.99.

    Article Link: Video Review: Pronto Turns Your iPhone Into a Smart Universal Remote
     
  2. Nickerbocker macrumors regular

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    #2
    I have the Logitech Harmony 650 and for $57.25 (on Amazon) I consider it to have substantially more value than this. I love it. It does everything. First universal remote that TRULY allowed me to de-battery and put away the 5 remotes that were sitting in front of the entertainment center. Great little device (albeit, the software is slow miserable crap but you only need to set it up once).

    I wouldn't mind it if my iPhone could be backup to the universal remote (if it had an integral IR blaster, for example). But to buy separate hardware just to make it so? No thank you. Unless you are a complete loaner, other people will need to interact with your entertainment setup at some point and do you really want them to have to do that from your iPhone?
     
  3. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

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    #3
    Sigh. When are Apple going to get their Remote app working again, I wonder? Christmas, maybe.
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #4
    I disagree. If other people are in your house and watching your TV, why aren't you there with them? Can't they just tell you what they want? Or why can't you just hand them your phone, as you would a remote?

    The only potential problem I see is... how many iOS devices can you pair with a single Pronto? If it's just one, this is DOA for me. If it's two... I might bite but I'd rather more.

    Edit: Why does this thing need a battery? I feel like given how little power it needs it should be capable of just wirelessly charging from available light. 4 AAs gets it through an entire year. That seems comparable to wireless keyboards, plenty of which can go off of nothing but available light for power.
     
  5. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000

    swordfish5736

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    #5
    What's wrong with the remote app? Used it last night with no issues.
     
  6. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

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    #6
    I find that it can take a long time to connect. Yes, I've done all the pairing. And after perhaps ten minutes, it loses the connection. Both on iPad Air 2 and iPhone 5 with my iMac. It was fine until iOS 8, surprise, surprise. I've been using it since it first appeared in the App Store.
     
  7. citi macrumors 65816

    citi

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    #7
    For me, It disconnects all the time and then I have to force close the app to get it to connect again.
     
  8. 2010mini macrumors 601

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    #8
    I'm with you on this. I have never had an issue.
     
  9. LV426 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Infrared has had its day. When you buy new equipment these days, make sure that it has IP connectivity. Infrared is fire and forget – the sender has no idea that the receiver got the message, or even if it's there. With IP there's full 2-way communication between your phone and devices.

    In my setup I have a universal remote app for controlling all my home cinema devices, most of which is done over IP. I can see how far an Apple TV movie has progressed right on my phone display. Or if someone fiddles with the volume control on the AV amp, the volume is indicated on the phone display. And a single button press can reliably turn off all equipment (quite a few IR devices don't have a discrete OFF command).
     
  10. amro macrumors 6502

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    #10
    What are you using to control everything via IP. I'm fairly certain all my equipment can be controlled over IP. I just don't like touch screens for remotes. I prefer physical buttons or a combination of buttons and touch screens.
     
  11. sclawis300 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    You don't have kids do you. Babysitters. Grandparents. Lots of people are in my house when I am not.
     
  12. LV426 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I use Roomie Remote.
     
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #13
    But the kids have some iOS device, do they not? Which goes back to what I said previously - it needs to be able to connect with more than one iOS device. Every member of the household should have an iOS device that can connect to it. If no member of the household is watching the TV, why is someone else watching it?
     
  14. amro macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Cool. Thanks. I'll look into it.
     
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #15
    I have used all sorts of remotes including some that are apps for iPhone and iPad.

    What I have found is that I end up going back to the more tactile universal remotes as I want to keep my eye on the TV and not have to look down for most commands (see where they roughly are on the touch screen of my iPhone and iPad).

    What might be nice is is a "cradle" where you insert your iPhone and it extends out the bottom with some real tactile buttons such as the number pad for channels, as example.

    For those that enjoy all touchscreen on the iPhone or iPad my comment is not an attack on that way of doing things but rather, simply stating what works better for me (and pretty much all of my friends for that matter who have too, tried app remotes on their iPhone).

    For now, I'll continue with my Harmony remote along side of the original Blue Ray remote and TiVo remote as back up. My Harmony works well with my AVR, Blue Ray, TiVo, TV and a couple of other devices.
     
  16. Ed217 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 7, 2012
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    Virginia
    #16
    I have the Harmony Smart Control setup and it works well. I use both the remote that came with it as well as the iPhone app. We tend to use the remote when watching from chairs in a room with some lights. We tend to use iOS when watching from bed or with no lights on. Both setups works well without really any issues.

    iOS can handle 2 or more hubs for multiple sets. The remote/hub combo is about $150 and you can get additional hubs or remotes for about $100 each.
     
  17. Nickerbocker macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2012
    #17
    Well it is clear from your post that you don't have kids.
     
  18. Philis Wacker macrumors newbie

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    Dec 22, 2016
    #18
    HomeKit is here mate! But for Android users like me, I was thinking about Sevenhugs or Yoswit. Compared to Pronto, Sevenhugs has a really nice user interface, while Yoswit is quite simple.
     

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17 May 18, 2015