Samsung and HTC are the very first companies to use IR blaster to turn your device to an IR Universal Remote Control. Other than the default Android Infrared Apps on your IR-enabled devices (WhatOn for Galaxy devices and TV for HTC devices), you can download some productive application from the Goolge Play Store which can get the most of built-in IR transmitter inside your device to turn it to a universal remote literally compatible with every electronic device having an infrared sensor, including TV sets, Set Top Box, Projectors, Audio Video Receiver, DVD Player, Air Conditioner, or even your Play Station or Xbox.
Note that, since manufactures have recently shown eager to add IR port to their devices, at the moment there are limited devices like Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Note 8.0 and HTC One to have this feature, and if your device doesn’t come with an IR port, then these application are not going to be any help for you to turn your device to an IR universal remote control.
Now…let’s review these IR Blaster Apps to have more fun with the included IR Transmitter on your Android device:
1. Smart IR Remote - Samsung/HTC
This is simply the best IR remote app you can find in the Play Store, but it is somehow expensive compared to the other paid apps, although we believe it totally is worth it.
Over 650.000 devices are supported via Smart IR Remote application and you can easily turn your Android device to a versatile physical remote control in a blink of an eye. You just need to find the device you want to control from the app’s huge database, do some easy installation steps, and you are done.
Floating remote, performing automated tasks, supporting Air Gestures (just for Galaxy S4), and lockscreen and homescreen widgets, are some of the main features of Smart IR Remote.
This is another great IR blaster app to turn your Galaxy S4 to a universal remote control. Over 350.000 devices are supported, and you have the option to save your connected devices, create custom remote by changing the style of buttons add buttons from different devices in a single tab, define a sequence of actions and send your own custom IR Code and assign it to a button.
Note that if you own an HTC One, you need to download and install HTC One Universal Remote from Google Play.
Unlike the other 2 reviewed applications, IR Univesal Remote is one of the few universal remote apps which offers some of its features for free. Although when you start using the app, you find most of the features only in the Pro version, and you are kind of have to go Pro to enjoy controlling devices via your Android phone/tablet.
Creating your custom remote is so much easy as you can drag and drop buttons to re-arrange them on your remote, as well as changing button text and color, or hide/show them.
Like the other 2 applications, you can either manually input IR codes or look for your device in the 300.000 available devices.
If you own an HTC One, you must install IR Universal Remote - HTC which is surprisingly totally free and you have plenty of options, such as access to IR database of more than 250.000 devices, option to manually input codes, create custom remotes, home screen widgets and many more.
Why You Need These Apps?
Well, If you are wondering why you should pay for these apps, while there is a default app for this purpose on your Android device, we are thinking of 2 reasons:
1. These 3rd party apps support far more devices and the list of devices are updated constantly
2. The user interface is more user-friendly and there are more customization and personalization options available.