By Andrew Liszewski
In addition to bring a damn fine phone, the iPhone always seemed to me like it would make a half-decent universal remote as well, with its large touchscreen display and accessory-friendly dock connector. But oddly enough it’s taken this long for a 3rd party to create an IR remote add-on, though I guess the wait was worth it. The L5 Remote doesn’t add much bulk to the iPhone, it just hangs off the bottom, though the placement of the iPhone’s dock connector does mean you’ll have to use it upside down when controlling your entertainment center.
The accompanying app, which unfortunately is still awaiting approval in the App Store, is pretty robust too. It supports learning functionality, and since the iPhone is graced with a fast processor capturing commands from your other remotes is very fast according to their rep. The button layout is also completely configurable, with little sliding areas to hide buttons like numeric layouts that you aren’t necessarily using all the time. In fact the only downside I can see is that since using the remote requires the iPhone’s display to be on all the time (the IR dongle just sips power, and isn’t much of a drain) it will be the first remote you have to charge every night. The L5 should be available sometime in February, pending approval of their app of course, for about $40 I believe.
[ L5 Remote ]