The L5 Remote is a piece of hardware that turns your IPhone (all models) into a universal remote control and does it well. The hardware fits in the charger socket and draws its power from the phone. This turns your IPhone into one of the most versatile and cheap universal remote controls available. The L5 remote is ideal if you have an old iPod touch knocking around and it even works on the ipad, you know if you’re prone to losing your remotes down the back of the sofa. The remote holds up to 100,000 buttons and up to 1000 remotes and the requirements are iPhone, iPad or iPod touch iOS 3.0 or later and will work to a range of 30 feet.
Setup couldn’t be easier, plug the IR blaster into the charging port download the app [ITunes Link]
With the app downloaded you’re ready to create some remotes and If like me you have your TV, AMP, sky box, xtreamer and your house lights working off a remote this is the app for you.
The first stage is to create a remote, give it a name and start dragging and dropping buttons, no custom design buttons here all cookie cutter buttons but text and colour can be edited. There are preset layouts for cable, sound etc and macros can be created, useful if to watch anything on TV you have to turn on three devices like most of us self-confessed geeks, one button and all your equipment turns on. The most useful button until they invent a mute button for the Mrs.
There is a handy help button at the bottom left of the edit menu making the app easily accessible.
The app learns from any current remotes you have and there is the obligatory database of number of popular makes to add but because of the customisation options available i used the learn function for all my buttons as its quick, easy and you know exactly what’s attached to what. Click the button in the screen, press the corresponding button on your existing remote and a handy progress bar will show you the progress to learning the button; it normally takes the one press but can take up to 3 to learn a button.
Point and click, use exactly as a normal remote control there is haptic feedback to let you now the buttons are pressed and clicking noise for further confirmation. So far there has been no combination of buttons I’ve wanted but cannot create. If you find a combo that you would like but isn’t there let me know in the comments. I have the following remote layouts
The end for the remote came when the girlfriend moved in, out came 12 batteries and all the remotes were back out. You see they just don’t get this whole need for one super remote especially when it’s attached to your IPhone. Also I must admit… I keep losing the thing! I have to take it off the phone to put the phone in my pocket, or I get asked “Is that an IPhone 4 with IR blaster attachment in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me” but either way when I put it down it invariably gets lost.
All in all this is a cheap (If bought for the right price on EBay) highly customisable alternative to the expensive hard to use remotes out there running into the hundreds of pounds. I’m hoping that everyone overlooks that fact that if you’re on a mobile phone contract you’re essentially paying a monthly fee for your cheap remote!
Now if you will excuse me… I have to go find my IR blaster… again.