Remote for iPhone review

It’s no surprise that Apple’s Remote application headed up the App Store’s list of Top Free Apps immediately after the store launched. After installing Remote on an iPhone or iPod touch, the portable’s touchscreen becomes the best remote control we’ve yet seen for controlling an Apple TV – or iTunes running on a computer – located on the same local network. (Your iPhone or iPod touch must be connected to that network via WiFi.)

When controlling an Apple TV or iTunes using Remote, the iPhone or iPod touch’s screen looks much like the mobile version of iTunes. At the bottom of the screen are Playlist, Artists, Albums, Search, and More buttons. The More button displays a screen with Audiobooks, Composers, Genres, Movies, Music Videos, Podcasts, Songs, and TV Shows – there’s actually more options here than in mobile iTunes.

A great feature found in Remote is Search. Tap in a few letters and you instantly get a list of all content – artist names, tracks, movies, etc – containing the search phrase. Tap on a track or video to play it, or tap on an artist or album to browse its contents. Remote even remembers your last search, so you don’t lose the results if you switch to another screen.

OUR VERDICT

Remote works well with iTunes, but it’s a godsend for Apple TV, especially if you’ve got a massive music collection. Remote’s biggest shortcoming is that you can’t use it to browse the iTunes Store, nor can you initiate playback of an iTunes-rented movie that hasn’t yet been transferred to your Apple TV. (To put it more accurately, you can’t use Remote to navigate the Apple TV’s own interface; Remote effectively replaces that interface.) But for playing media already on your Apple TV or in iTunes, Remote is tough to beat.

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