Tired of using 3-4 different remotes to control your TV? Tired of losing your remotes? Well what if I told you that you can turn your iPhone into a universal remote control. That way you can control all of your devices, using a device that you have with you at all times.
This isn’t what most would consider a crowded category, but as with all consumer electronics, some models are better than others. To help you make the right decision, we’ve decided to put together a list of the best gadgets for turning your iPhone into a universal remote.
Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on RC (remote control) vehicles that can be controlled via iPhone.
SteelSeries and Apple on Wednesday announced the Nimbus, the first gamepad designed specifically for the new Apple TV. It’s unclear how much Apple was involved in the development of the controller, but the company is highlighting it on its website and there does seem to be an above-average level of cooperation here.
For starters, the Nimbus features a Lightning port for revitalizing its internal battery, which SteelSeries says will provide gamers with more than 40 hours of gaming per charge. It also has an extra large Menu button, similar to the one found on the new Apple TV remote, which could allow users to navigate around the new tvOS.
The new Apple TV expected to be unveiled at next month’s event will feature a remote control with motion sensors, reports TechCrunch. Citing reliable sources, the site says the remote “likely includes several axis’ worth of sensors that put its control on par with a Nintendo Wii remote.”
Apple has for years been rumored to be tinkering with motion control. The iPhone-maker has acquired multiple companies with expertise and proprietary technology related to the field, and it has filed several patent applications over the last 5 years regarding motion-sensing inventions.
The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published three patent applications from Apple relating to biometric input devices. As noted by AppleInsider, all the filings mention a device with a built-in fingerprint sensor that could be used in a future TV remote.
It’s not hard to imagine the biometric possibilities of a remote control for a TV or set-top box. The device would be able to identify users—paving the way for custom profiles, settings and parental controls—and could support multi-finger shortcuts and simple gestures.
Apple is going to unveil a new set-top box in June with a redesigned remote control, according to The New York Times. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says the new remote will feature a touchpad for scrolling, at least two physical buttons, and it will be thicker in size than the current aluminum Apple TV remote.
We’ve heard multiple reports now indicating that Apple is planning to release new TV-related hardware this summer. The device is expected to be introduced at the World Wide Developers Conference with an updated, slimmer design, the faster A8 chip, and an increase in storage to house an upgraded OS and App Store downloads.
Developer Allan Wong posted an interesting video on YouTube today, showcasing his new Apple Watch app Remote S. In the clip, he can be seen using the wearable to control his Tesla Model S, performing tasks such as opening the charging port and adjusting the temperature.
While Tesla’s are pricey and not very common in most circles, the video is extremely impressive and worth watching. This is by far the most in-depth app we’ve seen demonstrated on the Watch, as Wong is able to use it to control nearly every function and feature of his vehicle.
Since Apple announced MFi controller support for iOS games, fewer options appeared than originally anticipated. The reason for a slow response is a bit surprising. However, my point of view is slightly skewed as an iOS accessory hardware reviewer. Still, I cannot imagine why app developers would not want to build in the support. Even more shocking is the small list of hardware options.
At CES 2014, it seemed like controllers would be the new thing. Unfortunately, several companies I chatted with never released their controller. We have come a long way since January 2014 and a full year plus another six months since the MFi controller support protocol released at WWDC.
SteelSeries was one of the first companies to-market with their SteelSeries Stratus. The Stratus was an extremely small MFi controller, but perfect for on-the-go gamers. Recently, they released the Stratus XL, a full sized battle tested design, similar to a true console handheld. After settling down with the XL, it changed the way I look at iOS as a gaming platform.
Where do I even begin talking about selfies? Everyone loves a good selfie. They are wildly popular across the world, even causing South Korea to ban “unregulated” selfie stick sales. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, and other forms of popular social media channels are completely filled with selfies. What caused our self obsession will never be explained, but the selfie is here to stay.
The selfie stick was one of the first hardware selfie assistants. I saw them around touristy places when I traveled, but didn’t think much of them about a year ago. Now, they are increasingly popular and being utilized in everyday places. Several iterations of selfie-inspired accessories cropped up and iLuv is capitalizing on the fad. Launching “selfy,” iLuv guarantees you will always have a quick way to snap a selfie and includes a laundry list of add-ons to assist.
Folks looking to pick up something different this holiday season for that special someone, or even themselves, may want to check out the SKEYE Nano Drone. The remote control quadcopter is small enough that it can be flown almost anywhere, and right now deal site StackSocial is offering it at a steep discount.
UPDATE: You can get this mini drone for even cheaper from Amazon.
Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are guaranteed to be a hot-ticket item this holiday season. The SKEYE differs itself from the rest of the pack with its size and agility. It measures just 1.57×1.57 inches and utilizes a 6-axis flight control System, making it perfect for performing stunts.
If you are ready to hit the pavement, I suggest grabbing the Griffin MOTO TC Rally iPhone controlled toy car. That’s right, no additional hardware is required, just your iPhone and the Bluetooth 4.0 controlled race car. As a child, teenager, and even as an adult, one of the biggest rushes in the toy world is remote controlling a toy car. Growing up, I used to make race tracks in the pine needles behind my parent’s house. Not much has changed.
Bringing my childhood excitement in line with the 21st century, the MOTO TC is not only iPhone controlled, but also utilizes virtual damage control, weapon systems, and can monitor lap times. It is essentially like playing a console racing game, but with actual hardware.