The ultimate and original automation convenience is the universal remote: a simple gadget that replaces all your similar devices, turning elaborate multi-step operations into a one-button convenience. Logitech's Harmony series of remotes and hubs have offered one of the best experiences out there, but at the cost of a complex setup and maintenance process. The new Harmony Express streamlines almost everything about the experience, but I don't think that convenience is worth the sky-high price tag. Read More
It's that time of the year again. Whether you like it or hate it, April Fools day is here, and with it, most of the major companies are rolling out their best gags and jokes — or their best efforts at one, anyway. For your convenience, either to track down jokes or purposely avoid them, we've put together a list of all the ones we've spotted so far. Read More
From tech support for clueless parents to changing settings away from home, remote desktop tools are an invaluable part of the modern software kit. But the mobile market has expanded to the point that many developers consider the target a higher priority than desktops. That's why AirDroid—makers of the popular tool for managing your Android device from your desktop—have just released a new AirMirror app for remotely controlling one mobile device from another. Read More
One of the Google Home's best features is the ability to control playback of a Chromecast with voice commands. For example, you can ask "OK Google, play Gravity Falls on the living room TV" to start playing content without having another device nearby. Now the Fire TV can do that, but with Alexa devices. Read More
Although not as fast as RDP or Chrome Remote Desktop (at least in my experience), TeamViewer is one of the easiest ways to remotely control a computer. Today TeamViewer launched the TeamViewer 12 beta, finally offering remote-to-remote control on select Android devices. Read More
Chrome Remote Desktop is a rather obscure Google product, but that doesn't mean it's not useful. Once the desktop application is installed, you can control it from any Android device, iOS device, or computer (with Chrome). In my testing, it actually works extremely well, often with a lower latency than popular remote access applications like TeamViewer.
The latest update, Chrome Remote Desktop 53, finally brings remote sound support. Read More
If you own an Android TV box or a television with it built in, there's a pretty good chance you've also taken the time to install Google's remote control app to go with it. It's not that the app is necessary, but it's a great backup in case your main remote is lost or the batteries die. All things considered, it's a pretty basic utility app; but it might not be quite so simple in the near future. A teardown shows that this little remote control is about to turn your phone into a full-fledged gamepad. There are also signs that it may soon take care of shutting off your TV for you and we might also gain control over the volume of voice responses. Read More
So far Samsung's plus-sized Galaxy View tablet has been given a custom CNN news app and a sort of bulletin board photo app, both of which are exclusive to the device. But Samsung isn't finished yet. Today they published a third app that, if not exclusive to the 18.4-inch tablet itself, is certainly meant to be used exclusively with it. It's a remote control app that lets you operate pretty much every input on the device via a Bluetooth-connected Android phone. Read More
Smart home technology is great. The Nest Learning Thermostat, Phillips Hue, and Sonos sound systems are wonderful products that make life more convenient, automated, and beautiful. These technologies are great, but many components in a smart home are controlled by applications from a smart phone or tablet. Having to pull your phone out of your pocket and unlock it every time you want to turn off the lights while watching a movie can be a little annoying.
Fortunately, the Logitech Harmony Home Control makes running a smart home a little easier. The remote works great for controlling your media center, but it also can be programmed to control many different home automation devices. Read More
AirDroid offers one of the more Android-themed ways to get files from your computer to your smartphone or tablet. It's green, there's a bugdroid in the logo, and, well—this isn't the point. Besides, file sharing is just scratching the surface. AirDroid lets you control your device remotely, accessing texts and turning on the camera. Now the developers have rolled out a number of intriguing features in the latest updates to its Windows and Mac desktop clients.
On the Windows side of things, there's a new desktop widget. It lets you access much of the functionality the main client offers without having to load up the full window. Read More