I couldn't live without... My Apple Remote app close

David Hart
In Couldn't live without...
15th November 2012
I couldn't live without... My Apple Remote app

This month… David Hart, Managing Partner

What couldn’t you live without?
I’m afraid my ‘couldn’t live without’ is pretty unremarkable: it’s the Apple Remote app (combined with Apple TV).

In a nutshell, what is it?
An app that turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a remote control.

Why does it rock your world?
Like many of us, when I’ve flopped down on my sofa I don’t want to move. But I also have so many choices when it comes to rotting my brain: I can listen to music, surf the internet, email people, text people, speak to them, watch a movie, watch a TV show. Wouldn't it be cool if I could do it all from my phone?

What’s your favourite feature?
I lost the remote to my AppleTV months ago: I have a 2 year old son, so the silver 7cm x 3cm AppleTV remote soon got stolen, posted through the floorboards, or made into a rocket or something. But I’m always going to care where my phone is, so my favourite feature is that it is just always there.

But on top of that, you can visually control what is playing if you watch something on AppleTV. You can pause, fast forward, jump forward. go back etc. just with a swipe of your finger. Want to do a search on YouTube? Using a traditional remote where you hover over each letter and press select is just tedious: with the Remote app, just use the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad.

What makes it unique?
I haven’t even checked to see if it is unique, but I guess it works and that’s the point. I can play the songs on my iTunes that are sat on my laptop, through AppleTV using my iPhone. Yes. it’s a bit Apple Fanboy-esque, but you know what? After a day thinking largely about the application of technologies, I don’t care: I just like it that I can do it all without moving from the me-shaped space on my sofa.

Does anything let it down?
It would be nice if Apple wasn’t so “keep your hands off” anything that wasn’t theirs. I’d love to be able to control Spotify through it. But, generally no. Sometimes my shonky wi-fi router gets a bit confused and sometimes AppleTV has a hissy fit and insists on being shut down and restarted again, but all in all, it does what it’s supposed to. Select your songs, say where you want them to play, or fire up Netflix via AppleTV and watch back-to-back Jack Bauer saving the free world in the space of 24 hours.

Any secret tips for new converts?
Keep it on the first page of your screen, because you’ll use it all the time.

Where can I find it and can I afford it? 
You get it off the App Store and it’s free, so yes.