Your Android smartphone already controls your life, now with the IR Universal Remote App, you’ll be able to control other things with it. This app is for the smartphones that come with a dedicated IR blaster.
If you don’t have an IR blaster in your smartphone or tablet, this app will not work at all on it.
So before you go on reading all the great features on this free remote app for Android; take a look at your smartphone first. This will save you a lot of disappointment later on.
Now that you’ve confirmed that your smartphone indeed has an IR blaster let’s talk a little more about the IR Universal Remote App.
While the app has its fair share of flaws, I like how simple it seems at first glance. You may even not notice the deep options hidden behind the cleverly disguised options menu at all. I had a hard time seeking out the treasures of this great universal remote app for Android.
The app comes preloaded with a lot of devices. So there is a very high chance that your intended device is already compatible with this remote app.
The app allows you to change almost every aspect of the remote. There are some deep customization options that can help you make the remote your own. You can also save multiple remotes, each with a different name. The app also has a very useful widget bundled in it.
Many of the features are buried deep into menus. You will need to dig a lot just to access some of them.
Some aspects of the remote customization seem neglected, the design of the customization menu is not well thought out.
The app also hides some features behind a paywall. Although the asking price is not that high, I would have liked some basic ones unlocked for free usage.
The Bottom Line
If your Android smartphone or tablet comes with an IR blaster, IR Universal Remote app is a must have. Even if you don’t pay to get the premium version unlocked, the simple free app has a lot of potential itself.
The app has a clean and simple design, but you can customize it to your liking. In the end, IR Universal Remote app deserves the number one app on our Universal remote app list.
Installing The App
While downloading the app is the same standard procedure, it’s the lack of a warm welcome that deducts points. To get the app, you need to go simply to the Google Play Store page and tap on install.
Next, the app will be downloaded and installed automatically on your Android smartphone or tablet. After that, all you need to do is launch the app from the app drawer.
Don’t get me wrong, you do get a welcome screen:
But this doesn’t give any information about how to use the app itself. Thankfully the app tells you how to access the swipe menu. I would have liked a tutorial link on the main welcome screen. The odd thing is there is a fully loaded manual hidden in the app itself.
Interface and Design
The main screen of the app changes the according to the chosen device. Here is an example of a standard Samsung TV:
Now swipe to the right and you can see the real deal of this remote app for Android. This swipe menu is the heart of the app as it lets you do everything.
Then there is the IR Database, which allows you to see and select different appliances.
When saved, the customized remotes are stored in the saved remotes section (This was unintended).
The TV listings EPG will take you to a separate plugin that in my experience is not hat amazing.
The instructions section will give you a lot of images to scroll through. It’s a PDF style manual built right into the app. You can gain a lot of vital information when you scroll through the images.
The settings are very limited though. Only a handful of options is displayed in the settings menu.
Usage and Working
I tested this app on two TVs both of them were standard HD ones. The remote worked well with them and did almost every function as I intended. It almost rivaled the dedicated TV remote apps for Android too.
One of the best things about this app is that it gives you haptic feedback when you press a button. It also lights up the notification light briefly just to mimic the old school remote controls.
These are welcome and nice touches which add to the experience. All in all, I liked how the remote app worked and felt in my hands.
Customization and Stuff
You can customize the remote to a certain extent. Some of the options are only available in the premium version, but some basic ones are available right away.
To customize a remote, you need to make a new one. Unfortunately, the app only allows you to make one custom remote on the free version.
The app also comes with three widgets of different sizes.
Here is the maximum sized widget displayed on my home screen.
Because the app does access a lot of stuff from your smartphone, I decided to contact the developers to ask about some of the permissions needed.
The developers were kind enough to answer my main in a timely manner. The app could access my gallery and this was the main thing I was suspicious about it. However, the developer explained that was for the custom images I can load as the remote background.
I highly recommend IR Universal remote app as your basic remote control app. The app works exceptionally with almost every smartphone with an IR blaster.
The interface is good and can be customized and the app has a lot of remotes pre-installed.
I would also suggest that you upgrade the remote if it is working well with your devices. The app will become much more valuable after the premium options are unlocked.
When using your Android as a remote for your TV, what is the biggest problem you run into?