How to turn your iPhone into a Universal Remote

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod Accessories, iPod touch, Originals

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L5 iPhone remote

You might feel like you’re pulling at the strings of the world with an iPhone in your hand, but there’s one thing you’ll have some difficulty with: controlling your TV. Well, I suppose that’s always been the case, even with universal remotes of the past. This year, you’ll have plenty of accessory options to control your TV or other IR gear from your iPhone.

The latest addition to the bunch is the L5 remote. It’s a very small accessory that fits right into the dock on your iPhone You’ll have to hold it upside down, but that’s okay. The app that will soon be released to work with the accessory will hold up to 100,000 buttons and up to 1000 remote configurations. But if you ever get close to these limits, I’m not sure it’s a remote that you need, but maybe therapy.

The L5 will sell for $49.95. Check out for more details.

Re iPhone remote

But that’s not your only option. At CES, we’ll see the release of another very similar remote called the Rē. Its accessory attaches the same way, but it’s slightly bigger, and less red. More details at

RedEye remote dockAnd finally, there’s the ThinkFlood RedEye. No, it’s not a flight you don’t want to take. It’s another IR remote device. This one is different from the rest as it does not need to be physically attached to the iPhone. It looks a lot like a black and blue iPhone dock. This remote’s distinguishing feature is that you don’t need to be in the same room to control it, only the same wireless network. This is also its biggest weakness as it can only control one room’s worth of gear. I’m currently reviewing this pricy device. It retails for $188. Look for the review soon.

All of these remotes will work with any iDevice to control your IR gear, but none of them will control your PlayStation 3 (without further help) as it works with a bluetooth remote. Just something to remember for PS3 owners. I’ll be scouting the floor for more details on these remotes at CES 2010, so you can expect some more details in the coming days.

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