Thursday, January 3, 2013

iOS App Review: Remote

Remote - AppleApple
Summary - This app gets a ton of usage at our house.  In the last few years, Apple has been improving on their AirPlay feature and Remote reaps the benefits.  This app on my iPhone can connect to any of the iTunes libraries and AppleTVs on my network and control them.  We use this mainly as an additional remote control for our AppleTV.  I can swipe and tap to navigate around the AppleTV UI as well as browse through shared content from my desktop without interrupting the current content on the AppleTV.  When I find a movie, TV show, or music playlist I want to play, the Remote app starts it streaming to the AppleTV.  I can also use this to control music playing on my desktop.  So, if I walk into the other room, I can easily stop the music from playing without going back to my office.  We also use it from time to time to control the iTunes music playing in the nursery (since that PC is a headless PC; e.g. no monitor attached).

Pros - This one is definitely easy to setup.  Just enable the home sharing option by signing in with your Apple ID and you get full control of all the iTunes libraries and devices joined to the home share.  Apple's recent update also added a 'stay-connected' feature that keeps me connected for a few minutes after using the remote.  This means faster resume time if I was just using it a few minutes ago.  The app also supports AirPlay.  I discovered that from the app I can start music playing in my office, then also extend it to the speakers connected to my AppleTV.

Cons - I haven't really found any downsides to the app.  It's well designed and does exactly what I want it to do.