Dock Accessory to Turn iPhone Into Universal IR Remote

Rē Remote Control is a a new plug-in accessory for the iPhone (and iPod touch?) dock port that aims to turn Apple's mobile platform into the holy grail of living room devices -- a full programmable, multitouch universal RI remote.

Word has it the unveiling will be at CES in January, and TiPb will try to check it out and see if it impresses. However, given how slick WiFi-based remote apps have been for Apple TV, Keynote, VLC, Boxee, etc. it's safe to say we're the tiniest bit excited at the possibilities.

The only drawback looks to be the hefty on-device dongle. What say you, is this the way to go or would you prefer a Bluetooth box that sits with your AV gear and handles the remote duties off-device?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • not sure if the ipod touch battery life is better than the iphone or not but who wants a remote they need to recharge everyday!
  • and even worse when its charging you probobly can't use the IR dongle! would be ok if there was an inductive charging pad, maybe the next update will give us that (along with wireless sync hopefully)
  • I'd prefer to have all my appliances equipped with wi-fi and control them that way.
    My new blu-ray does connect to the network to download stuf, but I haven't figured out, yet, how to control it that way.
  • Just another "because we can" app.
  • This technology already exists without the dongle - My iPhone has been my universal remote ever since I got the i.TV app. Check it out!
  • Ses pretty promising but if it costs an arm and a leg I won't buy it
  • True. i.TV is a great remote app if you have a TiVo DVR and as of the latest update, you can now control your Roku player.
  • there was a media center remote for free also called n control but it had some serious crashing issues and wasnt very full featured. Also the 5 second delay waiting for the device to join your wifi network is a huge pain in the butt
  • if battery life was decent and this worked well, I'd buy an ipod just to keep around the house for this purpose (assuming the price is reasonable). I have 3 remotes by my bed right now and it's a pita
  • I prefer the clean look of invisibility
  • I am hoping ATT U-Verse will upgrade their app to control something like this?
  • FAIL!!!
    Bluetooth Remote App for the PS3 is what they should be working on! IR is ancient technology!
  • Apple screwed up, IR should have been STANDARD on iPhone/iPod Touch from the first ones. Hopefully in the next one, INSTEAD of RFID spy chips! see
  • Bluetooth connection should of been the direction they went
  • Awesome!! Keep the price point below 30 bucks with the dongle and the app. I'm all over it!!
  • The dongle would be a deal-breaker for me. I'd never be able to find the damn thing, for starters. And if you have to buy a physical device, why not just buy a real universal remote? The batteries would last longer, for one thing.
    In some ways, old Palm devices were actually ahead of the curve here... I had a remote application for my old Pilot 5000 (yes, I'm that old) that I could control the TV with, using the Palm's onboard IR. It was great fun annoying my wife by switching channels when she had the "real" remote.
    But I'm guessing you'd have to take something else out of the iPhone to make room for an IR system, and I'm not really in favor of that. In a better world, our stereos, televisions, etc, would use some common bluetooth or wifi interface, but we're just not there yet. I don't see a really workable solution right now.
  • This would be awsome! I once had an HP Ipaq that could control ANY TV you were near. We were at the jiffy lube, the tv had a soap opera on. I changed it to football an no one knew who changed the channel or how. Very neat and lots of fun. But the ipaq did not require a dingle. What's up with that?
  • Sometimes use a multifunction to achieve little funs is really boring. I would like to have a simple device to do what it supposed to do and that will make the item more stable.
  • I have a nice thing which is simple and fun. Check my blog:
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