• Gear4_UnityRemote
Our Verdict 
We’d like a mains option, but it’s simple to set up and both intuitive and reliable in use
Easy to set up
intuitive in use
not too pricey
supports command chains and gestures
Won’t charge your iPod or iPhone
there are cheaper rivals
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It isn’t just major hardware companies who have discovered the idea of using iThings as remote controls.

Now accessory makers are coming up with universal remotes, and the Gear4 UnityRemote is one of the simplest.

A battery-powered infrared flasher unit combines with a free app – available in iPhone/Touch and large-screen iPad versions – to create a flexible, programmable whole-system remote, with the two halves of the set-up communicating via Bluetooth.

It can control either single units or a whole range of components, enabling chains of commands to be set up: you could have one to watch movies, another for TV, and so on.

You can also program gestures, so that for example an up or down swipe would increase or decrease the volume.No frills – it just worksIt’s all very simple to set up, program and use, and in operation does what it says on the tin reliably and efficiently.

More after the break

And there’s really not much else to say: yes, you could buy a standalone universal remote for the same kind of money, or the ThinkFlood RedEye Mini remote dongle for less, and there’s at least one pricier rival with a mains-powered flasher unit also able to charge your iPod or iPhone.

But if you like what the UnityRemote offers, it’s a solid, sensible buy.

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