Is the iPad The Ultimate Universal Remote?

Something that really caught on with the iPhone was the ability to use it as a remote control for iTunes on your mac or PC. In fact the official Apple Remote control for iTunes was one of the first applications available when the iPad was launched. Fast forward to January 2010 and Apple launched the mighty iPad along with some great ipad accessories. Here was another great opportunity to have a great universal remote for your home theater system.

For the iPad you can get applications to control things like the ubiquitous VLC media player and the exciting new kid on the block, the Boxee media centre. There are also various stand alone home entertainment systems that have their own iPad remote control apps including the fabulous Sonos sytem.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why using an iPad as a universal remote is so easy.

  1. You are likely to already have the iPad to hand when you want to use it as a remote, so there is no time spent hunting down the back of the sofa for a tiny remote control.
  2. As a wide range of home entertainment systems now feature WiFi there is an increasing number of them that can be controlled using an iPad app.
  3. If your home entertainment system is based around a PC or Mac-mini then you can also use your iPad as a remote keyboard and mouse to control it, even utilizing one of the many VNC remote desktop applications that are available.
  4. Although you can get some touch screen remotes, they are often very expensive and the touch screen is nothing in comparison to that of the iPad or iPhone. If you already own one of these devices it just makes sense to utilize it’s capability to be a universal remote control.
  5. Some systems, such as Sonos, allow you to play your music stored on your home music server through your iPad and vice-versa, truly making the iPad the best universal remote and an ideal accessory for any home theatre owner.

You need to be aware that the iPad, iPhone and iPad touch don’t have infra-red capability. They work as remotes via WiFi, so if you have an older home theatre system that doesn’t support WiFi connectivity they would probably won’t be able to use an iPad as a universal remote with a major upgrade.

If you are thinking of using a particular system with the iPad, check to see if the manufacturer has an official iPad application. This makes the whole process of using your iPad as a universal remote control a lot more streamlined.

With Airplay, Airprint, Multi-tasking and much more announced with the latest iPad software update, you can be sure that the iPad be gracing more homes as the ultimate universal remote control very soon.

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