Using the iPhone as a TV remote is comfortable and simple: here’s how to turn the phone into a controller.
Using the iPhone as a remote control is the smart solution in case the TV remote does not work anymore, it’s too far from the sofa or you’ve lost it.
If you have a smart TV it is not a futuristic utopia: it takes very little to start using your smartphone to put a movie, change channels or turn up the volume. But even if you have an old TV do not despair, there may be the same way to use your device.
Here are the useful apps and the wizard to turn the iPhone into a universal or ad-hoc remote control for your TV model.
iPhone as a remote control: useful apps
There are several apps to install on your smartphone that allow you to use it as a remote control.
But keep in mind that there are some based on wi-fi and others on IR, or infrared. Not all devices, even among the most recent ones, are equipped with this feature, so we will start with the apps that work on the wi-fi.
These allow you to control smart TVs and sometimes even streamer like Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV.
This is the case of SURE, available for both iOS and Android, which in addition to the streamer can also be used on smart TV LG, Samsung, Sharp, Philips, Haier, Hitachi and others.
The first thing you will need to do after downloading and open will be to choose whether to control a device via Wi-Fi or IR (depending on the technology used), then choose TV and brand to start using your phone as a remote control.
However, there are many other apps that offer the same service.
Peel Smart Remote, which is always available on both Apple Store and Google Play, is suitable, for example, to Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic and Sharp smart TVs. Anymoteis very similar to SURE, which can be used both in Wi-Fi and IR.
If you have an Apple TV and iPhone 6s or later, using the phone as a remote control will be extremely simple:
- Make sure your device is updated to the latest iOS version available
- Go to Settings> Control Center> Customize Controls and touch the green icon with the + symbol next to Apple TV Remote
- Still on Control Center, tap the Apple TV Remote and choose your Apple TV from the list
- Enter the code displayed on the TV screen
If you have an Apple TV but do not own an iPhone, however, the procedure will be a bit ‘different, but you can use an app to achieve the same goal.
In case you do not have a smart TV but only infrared TV, however, the situation will be more complicated.
If your smartphone is equipped with this technology you can simply use a dedicated app (the aforementioned SURE and Anymote, or Control it !, designed just for this type of device).
As already mentioned, however, not many phones are equipped with IR; a partial list includes Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and S6, Huawei P20, Zenfone 3, some LG, several Xiaomi and others.
But you can decide to buy an external IR module to be joined to the smartphone: there are several models and are mostly cheap (there are several types on Amazon).
Using infrared may therefore be more inconvenient, but may also allow you to control other types of appliances, such as air conditioning.