One of the most functional things you can “teach” your iPhone 5 is controlling everything around the house by transforming your smartphone into an universal remote. Some apps will allow you to control your TV via your handy iPhone 5, whereas others let you control wirelessly music playing on other iOS devices or the Sonos Home Stereo. You can even control your home burglar alarm via your iPhone and so on, but by far the most common reason to transform your iPhone 5 into an universal remote is controlling your home theater system.
Even if you’re not the ultimate fan of home entertainment, you surely have on your TV table at least three remotes, each doing their own thing and it always sucks when you can’t find exactly the remote you need. The following iOS apps will give you control of your home theater system via iPhone, easy and seamless.
Zmart is an universal remote plug-in dongle that attaches to your iPhone 5 via the audio jack. The Zmart remote is compatible with literally thousands and thousands of AV brands and packs the ability to learn new control codes for brands not on the list. On the overall, the Zmart app and remote knows more than 200,000 control codes for AV systems, BluRays, cable, DVD, DVD/VCR Combo, home theater systems, media manager, receiver preamp, satellite, TV, set top box, tuner and several kinds of TV/DVD and VCR combos. The 5-ounce remote sells for $20.
Dijit and the Griffin Beacon are able to give you control of your TV, AV receiver, Blu-ray players and Xbox. The Dijit app is free and works as a personal media assistant that helps you organize a guide of your favorite channels, create personalized menus and get recommendations via Facebook friends. The innovation, however, is the Griffin Beacon, which costs $80 but is worth the money since this is what transforms your iPhone into an universal remote via a Bluetooth connection.
RedEye works on a similar principle as the Dijit and the Griffin Beacon, except is uses Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth to send commands. It is also a lot more versatile, since it offers support not only for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but also Android, Kindle Fire and even desktop PCs, so you can transform and control almost everything around the home. You can customize control for thousands of devices, including TVs, cable boxes, lighting systems, air conditioners and so on for every room in your home. The hardware part of RedEye costs $200, whereas the iOS exclusive version, called RedEye Mini, sells for a limited time at $50.