How to Turn Your iPhone into a TV Remote

Updated July 20, 2017

The iPhone is a range of smartphones designed and built by Apple that runs a host of games and software applications. The iPhone has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but does not feature an infrared transmitter and receiver. Since infrared is the primary remote control method for audio and video equipment, the iPhone requires an IR adaptor to operate as a universal remote control device. Several companies have designed adaptors to allow the iPhone to work as a remote control and are accompanied by applications available on the App Store.

Download the free "L5 Remote" application from the iTunes App Store (see Resources). This application is fully customisable, allowing you to recreate the original remote controls on the iPhone's touchscreen and combine regularly-used functions however you like. A selection of prebuilt remote control screens and IR codes are also available from L5 Remote's website. To operate, this application requires you to buy the L5 Remote infrared adaptor and plug it into the connector on the bottom of the iPhone.

Download the "Bobby Universal Remote" application onto the iPhone (see Resources). This app connects to home automation controllers from Global Cache, which provide a bridge between the iPhone's Wi-Fi connectivity and infrared control codes. The application offers a visually rich interface, with downloadable remote controls for specific devices alongside customisable universal controller displays. Although the Global Cache hardware is expensive, it also offers access to a wide range of home automation features besides control of IR devices.

Download Apple's official "Remote" application for controlling the Apple TV device (see Resources). This application is free and doesn't require an infrared adaptor as it controls the Apple TV system directly over Wi-Fi. It allows you to control videos, photos and music played through the Apple TV unit and can also connect to iTunes running on a computer. The "Remote" app is particularly useful as it grants access to the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, offering a quicker and easier solution to typing in searches on the Apple TV unit.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone infrared adaptor
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About the Author

Spanner Spencer has been writing since 2005 for a variety of print and online publications. Focusing on entertainment, gaming and technology, his work has been published by, "The Escapist," "GamesTM," "Retro Gamer," "Empire," "Total PC Gaming" "The Guardian," among others. Spencer is a qualified medical electronics engineer with a Business and Technology Education Council certificate in technical writing from Huddersfield Technical College.