Home automation of any kind is a pretty tough market in which many products generally create more problems than they can solve. However, there are a rare few gadgets that don't aim too high or too low, and the results can be profoundly useful to the right customers. A new campaign on Kickstarter might just be primed to hit that sweet spot with a product called AnyMote, a remote-controlled universal remote.
What timing. Just over a week ago I transitioned my HTC One over from Sense 5 to CyanogenMod, accepting the fact that I was sacrificing IR functionality in the process (and yes, that was something I used somewhat regularly). Now an update for Smart IR Remote has landed that adds IR functionality back to HTC Ones and Samsung Galaxy devices with custom ROMs installed, even if the ROM lacks IR drivers.
Smart IR Remote has been missing from the Play Store for over a month, but now it's back, and it comes with greatly needed changes. For starters, you no longer have to purchase a separate version of the app to use it on both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, a deal that's bigger than you would expect considering that we're talking about two $10 purchases. And since the app is currently available for 50% off, you can get support for both smartphones for just $4.99.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One both come with IR receivers that allow them to replace your television remote. It's convenient, but that isn't necessarily true about the default apps they ship with. The HTC One's TV app tries to streamline channel surfing by placing favorite shows front and center, but it only adds clutter for someone like me who doesn't have cable television for the app to pull from.