Using your iPhone/iPad as a TV or Universal Remote

A common question I get when I show someone how easy it is to use my Samsung Phone (I currently have the Note Edge) as a universal remote is “can my iPhone do that?,” to which I awkwardly have to explain that certain Android phones are able to do this because of the infrared blaster, which iPhones lack. However, with the purchase of an additional device (in this example, a small device known as Pronto) you can get similar functionality with an iPhone (or iPad).

Pronto allows your iPhone to act as a TV or Universal Remote

In this case, your iPhone connects to Pronto via Bluetooth, which in turn connects to your TV, top box, media player, and or other devices via infrared. It’s an extra cost, but it’s not unreasonable when compared to a really good universal remote.

Pronto

I recently purchased a Pronto from Amazon so my wife and sister-in-law (both stubborn Apple/iPhone users!) could have the sort of functionality I have with my Edge. The setup was less complicated than I expected.  One quick note: The Peel app is also available on Android and I’ve found it more useful and intuitive than the other TV/Universal remote apps I’ve used.

What you’ll Need

Steps to Take

Install Peel app

Peel iPhone App
Unpack Pronto and insert AA batteries (included)

iPhone Pronto Remote Place Pronto near TV

Open Pronto App and Click the Remote Icon on Upper Right

iphone pronto 1 home screen
Choose “Setup Pronto”

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Tap new Pronto option once it appears

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Select your TV brand

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Click Red Button and toggle Yes/No options until you’ve verified you’ve reached the right setting

iphone-pronto-6-turn-tv-off

If you have a Cable/Satellite box, click Proceed to set it up. If you don’t, then choose “I don’t have one” (you’re pretty much done if so, as you can now control our TV’s functions).

iphone-pronto-7-cable-box

Choose your Cable/Satellite box brand

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Click Blue Channel Button and toggle Yes/No options until you’ve verified you’ve reached the right setting

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You’re done!

You can now control your TV’s functions from this single screen

iphone-pronto-11-tv-remote

Caveats

At this point it seems like only one iPhone/iPad can connect to the Pronto at once (multiple devices can be paired, but only one can actually connect to and affect Pronto) . I’ve paired 2 iPhones but the moment one connects, the other seems unable to access Pronto. Also, the ability to control a device requires the close proximity of Pronto. So if you’re also looking to control a TV, air conditioner or other device on the other side of your home/apartment, you’ll have to have another Pronto in close proximity (or painstakingly relocate the Pronto unit to close proximity of the other device).

 

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