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.