Android App Review – Smart IR Remote

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Having an infra red blaster on my phone has recently become something that I can really appreciate. The app offerings from HTC, LG and Samsung are a bit basic or they get bogged down with TV listings and the like. What I wanted was something I could fiddle about with and create my own custom remotes to work the way I want them too.

Smart IR Remote offers just that, you can set your own remotes up however you want. Just one word of warning, leave yourself plenty of time to play with this app, there is a LOT to fiddle with.

So how do you go about setting up a custom remote control for your phone? Well first of all you’ll need a compatible phone. The developers say the app will work with the following list.

★ Galaxy S4 (all)
★ HTC One
★ Galaxy Note (all with IR)
★ Galaxy Tab (all with IR)
★ Galaxy S4 Mini
★ Galaxy Mega

The app developer sums it up nicely.

With infrared – IR Blaster – already included in your phone, why shouldn’t you make the most of it? Smart Remote can control your TV, Set Top Box, Lights, Projectors, etc.. Virtually anything that has an Infrared Receiver can be controlled by Smart Remote with the correct remote codes. And we’re working 24/7 on adding more!

Why not get rid of your TV remote, set top box remote, and home center remote, all at once ?

Can’t find your device in the supported list? Email us and we’ll try to find it for you!

I used it with a Galaxy Note 3 without any problems, I’d imagine the LG G2 and the LG G Pad have been missed off the list as an oversight as opposed to a incompatibility.

Once you load the app up it basically walks you through setting up remotes for your devices, the list of controllable devices is quite staggering really.
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You basically pick the type of device, then the brand and then hunt for the matching model number, invariably it won’t be there and you’ll have to try the “most models” option. Which takes common commands from that manufacturer. After a few minutes you’ll be presented with a screen asking you to try and turn the relevant device on.
imageIt asks if it all worked and if you say no it continues through possible code combinations. I decided to start easy and set up my Toshiba TV, my Sky+ HD box and my Xbox 360, it supported all of them with the TV and the Xbox being the easiest to control, the SKY+ box had about 47 possible configurations as SKY have released so many different models over the years. The core functionality was there but some of the more advanced buttons didn’t work. So what was I to do? Make a custom remote, that’s what.

What is a custom remote? Well it’s like one of the multi remotes you can buy, which will control dozens of different things using buttons you’ve set up. You get two screens and you can add, move, edit or delete buttons at your own will. You can even make macro buttons which are buttons that do several things one after another, such as turn the TV on and then your SKY+ box. The buttons for the custom remotes come from the individual remotes you may have set up previously.
imageSo set yourself aside some spare time and see what you can create, I found that I could create a pretty useful custom remote. The only slight problem is with remote control apps in general. It’s just that they’ll never really replace an actual remote, a certain button or function will just never work. To set up my SKY+ custom remote I had to take buttons from about half a dozen different remotes and some buttons I could never get to work. An IR learning function would be good but instead you can enter the HEX code for the command manually instead.

Overall I find the app pretty useful, it offers more functionality than the Samsung, HTC or LG apps and it also has the same limitations as the other apps.

Smart IR Remote is available on the Google Play Store on the link below it costs £4.26 which seems a little steep, but if you’ve got a lot of remote controls around the house you’ll soon find value in the app.

Google Play Store Link – Smart IR Remote