Some of the coolest apps in Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone App Store are widgets that let you use your iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control.
Perhaps the most practical is the free Remote app that Apple launched along with the iPhone App Store in July, 2007. It lets you control your computer’s iTunes app from anywhere within wi-fi range. That means you can change songs or volume levels from bed, across the house, or even outside.
It also allows you to control your Apple TV set-top box — if you have one — and use the iPhone’s multi-touch screen as a gesture pad. It’s much better than the small, plastic remote that comes free with the Apple TV. (Other media centre apps have similar remote controls for the iPhone, such as Boxee and VLC, a video player.)
Soon, you’ll be able to control some Blu-ray discs with your iPhone, we learned this week. A new Fast & Furious Blu-ray disc, to be released on July 28, includes a “virtual car garage,” which lets iPhone and iPod touch users see different views of the movie’s racers and cars by using their touch screens.
Apple's free Remote software also controls the Apple TV set-top box, if you have one of those.
A recent update adds a nifty feature that lets you use your iPhone's multi-touch screen as a 'gesture pad' to scoot around the Apple TV display.
This is much easier than using the small, plastic remote that came with Apple TV.
Sort of like how Nintendo's DS has a touch-sensitive second screen that often controls what's happening on the first screen, this will let you control and observe some of your flight simulator's features -- on your computer -- using the iPhone as a smaller, second screen.
(What's Boxee? Think of it as a multimedia-specialised Web browser that you're supposed to steer from your couch. Lets you watch Netflix movies, MLB.TV, and other Web video streams.)
This one takes a little tinkering, but free VNC -- 'virtual network computing' -- remote desktop software on your computer (Mac, PC, Linux, etc.) will let you view and control it from anywhere, provided it's turned on and hooked up to the Internet.
A new Fast & Furious Blu-ray disc, to be released on July 28, includes a 'virtual car garage,' which lets iPhone and iPod touch users see different views of the movie's racers and cars by using their touch screens.
You'll also be able to use the iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control on some Blu-ray discs, provided you have a Blu-ray player that's hooked up to the Internet.
Plenty of security camera monitoring apps in the App Store, depending on your rig.
By far the most expensive, though, is Lextech Global Services' $699.99 iRa Pro, which delivers 'a video command centre to the palm of your hand.'
Ladies: We're not quite sure how this one works, but the $1.99 'Boyfriend remote' app is worth every penny if it performs magic.
You can tell it to 'give me money,' 'foreget about beer,' and even 'take me to the mall.' Classy.
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