If you own an Apple TV, you’ve probably used that tiny remote that comes with it. I have lost that tiny remote more time than I care to admit, usually to some jacket pocket or crevice in the couch. Also, trying to use the remote to select letter by letter in the search box on Netflix can be quite frustrating. Enter Remote. Apple has made an app called “Remote”, that works on your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
There are quite a few benefits to using your iOS devices to control your Apple TV. When searching for something in Netflix or the iTunes Store, you can type what you’re searching for on your device and it will show up on your TV. Also if you’re on an iPad, you get presented with an awesome iTunes like view, where you can simply click the media you’d like to play. You can even wake the Apple TV from sleep. Seriously, just look at the picture on the left, isn’t that way better than the remote that comes with the Apple TV? You can control you Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, iTunes U, and Audiobooks with the Remote app.
There is also an icon on the upper right of the iPad remote app that looks like 4 arrow pointing away from a centre location. When you tap it, you will be presented with a blank canvas to use as you would the actual physical remote that came with your Apple TV, as well as 3 buttons on the bottom of the screen. Bottom left button is equivalent to holding down the centre, circular button on the physical remote. Centre button is the menu button, which does what the physical remotes menu button does. And then on the bottom right is a play/pause button. This is the method I use to control Netflix, and a cool feature of this is when you go anywhere in Netflix that require you to type, a keyboard shows up on your iPad. Anything you type on the iPad shows up on your TV.
The remote app also works with your iPhone and iPod Touch, however due to screen size the iTunes view is somewhat limited compared to the iPad version. Instead you will be presented with a list view with small thumbnails along the left side. It also has the physical remote control view as well. It works well, however when using my Apple TV, I primarily control it with my iPad.
Even though the screen size is small in the iPhone/iPod you can still control your Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, iTunes U, and Audiobooks with it.
Remote is a free app made by Apple, available on the App Store. Once you download it launch it and tap “Turn on Home Sharing”.