Updated: Sep 5
Lost the remote again? Here’s how to use your phone as a TV remote and control all your TV and streaming devices.
You may need a backup remote for a variety of reasons: your usual TV remote has broken, it requires fresh batteries (and you don't have any spares on hand), or your children have lost it (again). Remotes are becoming more smaller (we're looking at you, Apple TV remote), making it easier and easier to lose them in the couch cushions.
Quick Set Up
Your smartphone can be set up in a matter of minutes as an additional remote control. So the next time you're watching Disney+ if you forget your clicker next time and save yourself a lot of time and effort. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it all.
Devices to use
There are several different types of apps to download and they are all FREE!
Basic TV Remote Apps for your streaming device such as Roku & ChromeCast
General Streaming Services Apps such as Netflix & Disney+
The app(s) that are most useful for you will depend on if you mainly use your smart TV or a streaming device.
TV Remote Apps
There are several TV remote apps on the App store & Google play store
One highly rated app for Apple Users would be:
Universal Remote TV Smart
This app works over wi-fi and is compatible with most TV manufacturers (to name a few, such as Samsung, LG, & Sony) It detects your TV automatically making set-up time basically zero.
Streaming Device Apps
To make browsing and navigating on your existing devices easier, download streaming device apps such as Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV all have compatible apps, as well as third-party apps that interact with these systems.
There's a built-in remote control in the Roku app that connects to your Roku device through Wi-Fi and allows you to search using voice commands or your cellphone keyboard. The Amazon Fire TV app, available for Android or iOS, has a similar design to the Roku app where you can access a remote directly from the app.
The Google Home app works with all Chromecast devices, and it can also control Google Nest (Google's family of smart Wi-Fi home gadgets). It can also manage your lights, security cameras, thermostat, and more.
If you have an Apple TV, you probably also have an iPhone, which has the Apple TV Remote app pre-installed. You can also mirror your phone screen onto your TV using the Chromecast and Roku applications - fantastic for sharing vacation photos with the family or listening to music via TV speakers.
Who knew technology could be so advanced? I guess it's time for me to throw my remote away and use my smartphone instead!