The Unity Remote consists of an app that you download from the App Store and a small cylindrical infrared adapter that connects to the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad via Bluetooth. The app beams commands to the adapter using the Bluetooth connection, which are relayed to your TV and other devices as conventional IR signals.
The Unity app is easy to use and works in much the same way as a conventional universal remote control. There’s a Setup Assistant that starts by asking the name of the manufacturer of your device, and then the type. It then searches through its built-in database to locate the codes that it thinks are suitable for your devices and quickly runs you through key commands such as Power On/Off, to make sure that everything is working properly. You can select devices individually on the Home screen, or create ‘actions’, (e.g. watch TV) that allow you to control multiple devices simultaneously.
The Unity app groups all the main commands together on a series of screens that you can flick through using the iPhone’s touch-screen controls. It’s a little unconventional, but it works well and makes sense given the size of the iPhone screen.
The Unity Remote worked perfectly well while we set up our Samsung TV, Panasonic Blu-ray player and Sky+, but stumbled with our FetchTV Freeview box as that device wasn’t listed in the app’s database. There is a ‘training’ option, but that’s a long and tedious chore – although, to be fair, that’s also the case with many conventional universal remote controls.
FetchTV aside, the Unity Remote works well. The app is easy to use and makes good use of the iPhone’s touch-screen controls, and at £80 it’s an affordable alternative to a conventional universal remote control.
-Easy to use app
-Makes good use of touch-screen controls
-Tedious training mode
-Bluetooth can drain the iPhone battery
-Unconventional screen layout
Ease of use ★★★★★★★★
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