Can the iPad Mini be a great Remote Control?

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The size is almost perfect. The small bezel on the sides, the shape - the iPad mini is almost exactly what I've been looking for.

But I don't have one, and I probably won't get one this year. The reason is - it just doesn't provide any functionality I'm not already getting from my iPad and iPhone. It doesn't quite think different enough for me.  

Next year, I want the Mini to be higher-tech, with a Retina screen - and to incorporate some old-timey tech, too. More after the jump. 
I've written before about what a fantastic remote control the iPad makes. With the DirecTV app, it's basically an all-powerful remote control, the kind of thing we'd have paid $700 for 5 or so years back. I assume that the Mini can do exactly the same things as a remote control, and it's smaller and easier to handle. But as a remote, it's all dependent upon your home network - it's internet based - and so the universe of devices it can talk to is limited.

But what if it could do a little bit more? What if, for instance, the next generation of the iPad mini incorporated some plain-Jane remote features, like IR and RF? And what if Apple redesigned the Remote app to allow a Logitech Harmony-style ability to add components, and to add macros? 

Now THAT would be a tablet that brought something new to the table. And it wouldn't even have to change the form factor. 

Sony built IR functionality into their tablet last year. I'm not sure if anyone noticed, because for the time being, the tablet world is #1 iPad, #2 Kindle Fire, #3 who cares. It didn't get me to purchase, but it sure got my attention. It's a good idea. Apple could take that idea and run with it. 

Frankly, I'd even be interested in an iPad Mini if it ONLY worked as my dream remote control. But if Apple is looking to differentiate the Mini in a way other than "it's a smaller, cheaper iPad" - IR/RF function may be the best way forward. 

2 comments :

  1. The iPad mini makes a great remote. All my components are web connected, and have apps to control them... Roku, Panasonic Blu-ray, DirecTV, Control4 etc. I don't think adding IR would benefit at all. The average consumer that uses an IR remote, would not view this as a selling point.

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    1. I agree, it's a fantastic remote. And most components can be controlled via wifi. However, for those legacy components that cannot, I still think that an IR or RF capability would set an "iRemote" apart from the iPad line.

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