I was initially unable to create an action that would do this and let me switch straight to BBC News 24, and it took a support call to Gear4 to discover that a particular inactive setting in the depths of the Unity app needed to be turned on. It’s only a small detail, but it did stop me in my tracks for a while and could probably have been avoided with a decent manual, rather than muddling through with the Unity’s skimpy Quick Start guide.
HDTV tweaks at your fingertips
Grumbles aside, there are some rather nice touches. The Unity app makes good use of the touch-screen controls on the iPhone by allowing you to use gestures. Flicking your finger up or down the screen will turn the volume up or down, or flicking sideways across the screen can change the channel.
The complexity of most universal remotes means that they mainly appeal to hardened gadget addicts who are prepared to put in the effort required to set them up properly. However, basing the Unity around an easy-to-use iPhone app is a smart move that should help to make it accessible to a wider audience. It does have a few rough edges, but the Unity is a genuine – and affordable – alternative to high-end remotes from Logitech and the like. ®
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What a complete load of rubbish
Firstly, universal remotes start at about £15. Mine cost £35 and controls five devices with ease (the wife and a four year-old cope fine). So the £100 already looks pricey assuming you already have the required iPod or iPhone.
But then what happens when I go out and take my iPhone with me? Either no-one can use any of the electronics in the living room OR you have to have all five remotes sitting around AS WELL. Or another universal remote control.
I remember when all Windows Mobile devices had IR transceivers built-in and Universal remote software was available. Even then, when free, it was a pointless waste of time/brief "wow. Look at that" distraction because of the need to have another means available to change channels.
This is genuinely the most pointless piece of tech I've ever come across for £100. To see it score so well is flabbergasting. What were you thinking Reg? Has the eggnog season come early to Vulture towers?
"Thanks for making the effort to INFORM us early on it was for crapple only."
Er, look at the title of the article -
"Got an iPhone or iPod? You'll pay £100 for a remote"
Seems clear to me
Flawed on so many levels
Touch screen remotes seem like a good idea but in reality knowing the exact location of the buttons on the remote by feel is much more useful. I can navigate my basic logitech harmony purely by touch. I owned one of the one4all chameleon remotes and it was a pig to use.
You come home from work fancy watching a bit of TV but you can't because your partner is out and the remote is their phone/ipod (that's a good system isn't it)
Haven't charged your phone for a bit, no TV for you
when the iPhone is no longer the coolest phone around and you want an Android that £100 is down the pan.
The bottom end logitech harmony remotes are amazing, I think mine was £35. It controls everything I own that has an IR sensor even my dSLR.
Hm, the app-idea sounds nice...
But my Logitech harmony is in reality better suited for the living room, as my mother could pick it up and use our AV-setup without any troubles. A dedicated remote control is also better suited for sharing as I don't like to lend my phone to others...
until Jobs decides to block hardware interface apps from the AppStore.
Hope they come up with Symbian & Android editions of the software, but they do seem to be a Cupertino-only shop...