If I’m honest with myself, I would have to admit I’m quite a lazy person. If I’m lying on the sofa, I don’t like to get up unless I absolutely have to, and anything that involves using energy is something which I generally don’t like doing. Think of how lazy Garfield the cat is and then multiply that by 100. Then you will have a rough idea of what I am like.
So when I took a closer look at Remote, a free app provided by Apple, I realised I could take my laziness to new heights. Remote is an app that turns your iPhone or iPad into a remote control for iTunes and the Apple TV. With it, you can lie on the couch, with iTunes running on your computer, and be able to switch songs without having to move a muscle. Heaven. The only catch is that it only works with Wi-Fi networks.
Setting It Up For The First Time
After installing it for the first time and opening it up, the first thing you need to do is log in with your iTunes account.
After successfully logging in, you will see the following message.
Turning On Home Sharing On iTunes
Put your iPhone or iPad to one side for a moment, and open up iTunes on your computer. Go to iTunes preferences followed by the tab called Sharing. This is where you can grant access to your iTunes library to anyone in your local Internet network, including any iDevices.
Choose the options as shown in the the screenshot above, but adding a password is not necessary. It certainly isn’t required for the Apple Remote.
Go back to the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. Access the settings, and tap on Add An iTunes Library. Before doing this, make sure that iTunes on your computer is still open and that Home Sharing is still enabled.
Connecting To iTunes
When you click on Add An iTunes Library, it will immediately give you a PIN number. The PIN number is how you will connect your iDevice to your iTunes. For security reasons, if you do not connect to iTunes within a certain period of time, then the PIN number will refresh to a new one.
Next, connect your iDevice to your computer so that it shows up in iTunes. Click on your iDevice in iTunes, and you will be prompted for the four digit PIN number. Enter in the PIN number that is currently on your iDevice screen and then your iDevice screen will show the following.
Provided you have a pretty good Wi-Fi network, your home library should be found quite quickly. You will then see a link to your library on your iDevice screen.
That’s the setup of Remote now finished, so let’s now take a look at how to operate the Remote. After tapping the link to your home network, you will see everything that you have on your iTunes. So as an example to show you how it works, let’s pick a movie that I recently purchased.
When you tap on the movie, it will immediately start on your iTunes. The screen on your iPhone will then change to show the various controls available.
As you can see the controls are pretty basic, but it is enough to get the job done – play, pause, rewind, forward. There is also a function where you can rewind or forward 10 seconds either way. You can also run your finger along the slider bar (shown in the screenshot above, under the Hobbit artwork), to go to any point in the movie.
When I tested the app, everything worked perfectly. There was never a problem with anything. And those are the kinds of apps that I love. Ones that work right away, as advertised.
Now let’s take a quick look at playing some music, and yes I like ABBA. What can I say? I was an 80’s child.
Playing music is exactly the same as playing a movie. Simply tap on the song that you want to play and it will immediately begin in iTunes. You can use the remote app to play and pause, as well as decide what you will play next.
That is pretty much it. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover the Remote app. Until now I have been wasting precious energy getting off the sofa to switch songs or movies. From now on I will be the ultimate couch potato with my pizza in one hand, and my remote in the other.
Download: Apple Remote (free)
Let us know in the comments what you think of the Remote app. Are there any hidden tricks that we should know about?
Image Credits: espensorvik Via Flickr