AC, TV, Set-top box, smart tv and even my camera, have an IR remote that I use on a daily basis. Now that I have recently acquired a phone with an IR blaster, I was looking out for apps in the Google Play Store using which I could use my Android phone as a universal remote.
The advantage of using a phone as a universal remote control is that it’s with you all the time and you don’t have to look for it under the sofa cushions and pillows. Also, it looks cool and sometimes, it’s all about the swag. So here’s a list of 3 of the best apps you can use on your Android IR blaster to control anything and everything with an IR sensor.
Note: These apps might not work on all Android devices with IR blaster. Your phone manufacturer needs to enable IR hardware to be used by third-party apps.
1. AnyMote – Smart Remote Control
AnyMote – Smart Remote Control is one of the best universal remote available for Android. The major reason behind this is the amazing interface the app provides. It’s so easy to find the device you wish to configure the remote for. On the home page, you will find all the devices you can connect to and it also includes DSLR cameras and Air Conditioners.
Not only that, in the settings menu you can add automated tasks like mute the volume on the TV or Music System if you are getting an incoming call. You can also include IFTTT task in the app. The app has a lot of devices you can connect to and the chances to not finding one is minimal. But to help in such situations, you get the option to record your own remote.
In the option, you can customize your remote, add buttons to it and then sync the frequency using your default remote. Additionally, you also get to control smart devices that are connected using Wi-Fi.
What's more, you can integrate Amazon Alexa with this remote app, thus taking you a step ahead in achieving your smart home dream. Though, you must enable the AnyMote skill in the Alexa app and pair it with your phone at the first place.
Having done that, you can pair it with the Echo and then ask it to send voice commands. The only issue with this setup is that the phone has to be in the direct line of sight with the product.
2. ASmart Remote IR
The previous remote is a featured packed app, but it can be too complex for some users. ASmart Remote IR hosts top brands and devices and you can not only control TV and Set Top Box, but also DSLR cameras and ACs. For better management, you can create different rooms with sets of remotes and easily switch between them using the tabs at the top.
Plus adding a new remote is as easy as pie. All you have to do is tap on the tiny Plus icon at the top right corner.
Personally, I liked the interface of the app. — it's fluid and makes switching between remotes a walk in the park. Moreover, the option of getting the display remote for Air Conditioner is a killer addition.
3. SURE Universal Remote
Just in case you need another alternative to explore, you can try SURE Universal Remote. The app works with both, IR and Wireless devices. One thing I liked about the app is the ease with which you can switch between the remotes. You get tabs of the devices in the sidebar and then you can easily switch between them.
It's a great app, since it works both with Wi-Fi and IR transmitters. You can buy IR transmitters online for a few dollars if your phone doesn’t have a built-in IR blaster.
What makes this smart remote app interesting is that you can also backup your remote settings and can share it with your friends. The app is free with ads and you can go for the pro version to get an ad-free experience.
These were the best apps for Android using which you can use your phone as a universal remote. Though there are a couple of other Android apps like Peel Universal Smart TV Remote, IR Universal Remote which does the same work, however, I found the above three to serve my needs the best.
If none of the apps work on your Android phone even if you have an IR blaster, please check with your phone manufacturer. It simply means they have not allowed third-party apps to use the hardware resource.