How to Turn Your iPhone into a TV Remote

Written by spanner spencer
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How to Turn Your iPhone into a TV Remote
One benefit of an iPhone remote control is the customisation of buttons. (remote control #3 image by Adam Borkowski from

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.

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Things you need

  • iPhone infrared adaptor

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

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