Home Entertainment Remote Control Apps for iOS: ThinkFlood's RedEye

The last in a series of reviews of hardware/software combos that let you use your mobile device as a universal remote control.

By , Columnist

The RedEye stands out from other devices that turn smartphones and tablets into remote controls because it communicates using Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. Consequently the setup process is more complicated than just pairing two Bluetooth devices. Recognizing this, the developers have simplified things by providing configuration software that you can download to a PC or Mac.

One advantage of Wi-Fi is that the RedEye hardware is always accessible from your iOS device if both are on the same network. Furthermore, battery life is not a problem because the RedEye runs on mains power. That means it has to be near an electrical outlet but you get added value if you have an iOS device with Apple's original 30-pin connector because the RedEye doubles as a charging stand.

THE APPRedEye by ThinkFlood, Inc.

ICON_RedEye_scaled.jpgTo link the RedEye app to its hardware you first need to connect to the latter's Wi-Fi signal. You then scan for your own network and enter its logon password to get the RedEye online.

Once connected to the Internet, the app searches for firmware upgrades for the hardware and installs them. You can then start entering codes. There is no wizard to guide you through adding devices but you can set up different 'Rooms' if you have equipment spread around your house. You can also pre-program 'Activities' and configure the RedEye's in-built TV guide.

2013-06-23T20-57-57_5_190.jpgWhile these features are convenient, the app's interface could be better. Home entertainment components are listed under the 'Devices' tab but when you tap on any of them you get a list of commands rather than a GUI. This means that when you want to send a command, you have to search for it by name.

The 'Activities' tab does display controls using a representation of a real remote but the design is plain and two-dimensional. You get an impressive degree of control over the layout of the buttons and you can add additional ones. Even so, this flexibility doesn't entirely make up for the app's shortcomings.

RATING: 3/5

2013-06-23T11-51-52_5_380.jpg

Although this review article focuses on iOS devices, the RedEye can also be controlled using an Android app.

Earlier articles in this series covered GEAR4's UnityRemote and the Beacon from Griffin Technology.

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Michael Simpson is a freelance writer, editor, presenter, researcher, instructor, gadget freak and sci-tech consultant based in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Formerly from the UK, he’s converted from tea to coffee and written and presented on film, TV, science, nature, technology,…

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