Tuesday, 15 January 2013

killer apps iphone ipad - Samsung smart tv iphone remote app

The Samsung remote is an app I have been looking at for a while, ever since Samsung phones allowed "sending" video to TVs and then Apple TV came out a few months later back in 2009ish.

However, until the recent update they always felt a bit like someone had a tick in a box for an app to say "we have an app for that" and that's it. While it is still not as good as, for example, the Sling TV remote experience, they have come a long way and can actually function if you cannot find the remote: Before this you would actually spend a bit of time finding the remote, I say this especially as, while the 3rd generation ipad version worked OK, the version on the iPhone 5 crashed too often to use, at least on my iPhone 5.

The first screen you get is this one, which on first view is not great, however you then realise it has all the buttons you need for the most times you will use this remote: for ad-hoc adjustments to sound when you cannot be bothered getting up/finding the remote.
No iPhone 5 format yet but at least it works
Apart from not being iPhone 5 formatted, the only other issue is the fact that you need to authorise the app every time you use it: guess how? Yep, with the remote the app is supposed to replace anyway. This is a key update that is needed ASAP - one auth, once. If you must have a pop-up, have one saying "this tv is being controlled by..." and have the ability to stop it - if you have annoying people in the house, of any age...

The ability to exit menus, etc is done my using the "simple" tab, which seems strange, but at least makes this function always easy to find, whereas if it were scrolled on the "full" tab it may take more finding.
"simple" menu lets you access menus / settings
So onto the "killer" part, which is the "full" menu: Here you can control pretty much anything, scrolling up and down between the screens
The Screen that gets you around the smart hub
The other of the screens is really all your need, and probably could be the first tab in itself to simplify the app?
The main screen that gets you into smart hub and  main controls
For the more analogue among you, you can still use the following two menus to channel hop and,
Old school channel and source selection

control video and recording and other things you may still do with your TV
old school blah control for ... other things
So why is it a killer app? well, its actually been very well thought out, despite that not being immediately obvious. For those of you who have worked with Koreans, you will notice a lot of Korean thought process in the layout here, which is no bad thing and is very easy to get used to, albeit not the normal layout of other remote controls which have clearly been approached from a Western European or Northern American UE perspective. With the addition of being remembered (at the moment each session requires the real remote to accept the app) and programmable buttons, so I can remove "family story" (don't bother!) and have short-cuts to really useful Smart Hub content like iPlayer, Spotify, Redbull TV, etc this app would be top killer app.

2 comments:

  1. what a wasted opportunity! This remote wouldn't let me type user/pass. The mouse is a drag.

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    1. Hi, I believe it has its limitations, however I have been playing with apps that control TV ever since the home entertainment computer concept in early 2000's and this is the easiest and best so far... not saying ist perfect though, and agree it could do with some UX work

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