I never thought I’d find anything to replace my Logitech Harmony universal remote, but I have: New Potato Technologies’ FLPR (http://www.newpotatotech.com), a new accessory and app that transforms an iPhone or iPod touch into a universal remote control.
I was dubious that it would work as advertised. But it does. The US$79.99 FLPR lets you control multiple electronic devices — including televisions, cable and satellite boxes, stereo systems, lights, ceiling fans and just about anything else that uses an infrared remote control.
After purchasing the FLPR infrared interface and popping it into the iPhone/iPod touch dock connector, you download the free FLPR app from the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/). Once the app is launched, choose the device “type,” select “brand,” “name it” and “use it.” It’s that easy, and you don’t have to program anything.
The FLPR comes pre‐programmed with over 14,000 remote control codes, including all major electronics brands. Within 10 minutes of attaching the infrared interface and downloading the app onto my iPod touch, I was using the FLPR with a Philips 40-inch flatscreen TV, a Sony Blu-ray player and a Comcast (ie Motorola) cable box.
If you set up a device profile, then decide you don’t want it, you can remove it by touching and holding the icon of the device you want to delete in the grey function bar. Then you press “delete” on the “delete function” screen that pops up to confirm that you want to remove the selected device. This isn’t mentioned in the otherwise thorough instructions, so make a note.
FLPR has a range of about 30 feet and is powered by the iPhone/iPod touch. According to the folks at New Potato, it’s a “learning” remote. If, for example, the remote control code for that old television in the guest bedroom isn’t in the FLPR database, you can purportedly “teach” FLPR the code for that old relic, creating a brand new remote. I haven’t had a chance to try this, as every device I have is already in the FLPR database.
The interface of the FLPR iPhone/iPod touch app is extremely easy to use. You can also personalize each device profile with a background skin to help you differentiate between devices when you’re using the remote.
Since I usually have my iPod touch with me, the FLPR remote just means there’s one less device I’ll have to carry. And if it works with the iPad, I’ll be doubly happy.
Rating: 10 out of 10
— Dennis Sellers