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Satechi dongle turns iOS devices into universal remotes

updated 01:37 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2012

Supports 'thousands' of devices

Accessory maker Satechi has launched a new Universal Remote dongle. The unit plugs into the headphone jack of any recent iOS device, and in combination with a dedicated app can be used to control any number of electronics with infrared sensors, including TVs and DVRs. Satechi claims that "thousands" of devices are supported; if one isn't, a learning mode can be used to associate commands.

Configuring the app involves entering an activation code and downloading remote layouts as needed. The dongle is currently on sale for $25, but may soon go up in price to $40. The app is free and should work with every iOS device except the first-generation iPhone; at the moment, however, there is no native iPad interface.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    It used to be that until about 2005, give or take a few, most smart phones and PDAs; incorporated an IR port.

    Back then connectivity options were rather scarce, and IR "beaming" was a standard way of exchanging business cards amongst palm pilot users. Now of course nobody would consider exchanging data at the slow rates infra red provided; although it's directivity and short range allowed for quick business card exchange without pairing whilst ensuring some sort of privacy Bluetooth lacks.

    I always wonder why manufacturers removed the IR port, if anything using your phone as a spare remote at home was nice, and lowering the volume of the pub's dumb box was even nicer.

    As a side note my old Newton message pad's IR port works and can even operate some devices still.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Anything with dongle hanging usually doesn't seem to sell that well. This is because it looks 1. Stupid 2. It tends to get lost after you swap it with head set. 3. It doesn't fit well when you have iPhone case covering. At the end, original physical remote is still the most convenient one.

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