Some of the top end Samsung models as well as HTC One come with an IR Blaster, the same mechanism by which your TV remote works. ZappIR Universal IR Remote app for Android is a utility that taps this feature and therein let your phone or tablet control the IR capable devices in your home. More specifically, this app turns your phone into a universal remote that is functional as well as customizable. You can use the app for free for a limited period. Afterwards, it’ll cost you $6.99 for unlimited use.
After firing up ZappIR Universal IR Remote app for Android, you start with a basic menu adding devices. Ensure that you are connected to the internet while doing so as you’ll get access to ZappIR’s huge database of devices, the functions they’re capable of, and the IR codes that initiate each function. From a user perspective, all you got to do is to enter the device you want to control, its model and brand. If you’re not sure, opt for ‘all models’ that most likely will get the job done. After identifying your device, the ‘custom’ part of ZappIR Universal IR Remote comes handy. This is where you’ll get much of the value of the tool. For example, it let you group multiple devices together and therein relieves you from having to control them separately. For example, you can tie cable box with a TV and an a/v receiver so that by clicking the ‘TV’ button will turn on all the grouped devices.
But ZappIR Universal IR Remote for Android is not without its share of flaws. One issue we noted what related to the volume button. You got to tap it once for every incremental change. If you hold it down for a large incremental change, it won’t work that way. The UI is also not very user friendly either, even though most of you can manage it with little bit of effort from your side. You also can’t change the size or placement of buttons. Also missing is a tutorial to walk you through the app’s core functionalities.
ZappIR Universal IR Remote for Android does a great job in turning your mobile phone into a functional IR device. Setting up the app is pretty easy. Of course, the app has some shortcomings such as the UI and lack of a tutorial to ease the learning curve. But once you get a hang of its functioning, it becomes very easy to manage your devices. Also, at $6.99, it is reasonably priced for the functionality it provides.