My favourite XBMC Remote App
I don’t usually like remote control apps. YES it amuses me to no end, to be able to control a device using my phone, but I’d still rather have physical buttons.
With physical buttons you don’t have to look at the remote when you’re navigating; you can feel where up/down/left/right & OK are.
With a remote app on a touch-screen phone however, you don’t have the same tactile sensation and therefore have to look at the phone when you want to press a button. Your phone will also probably huff and lock its screen after 30 seconds of neglect.
My current favourite Windows Phone app for controlling XBMC on my TV is XBMC REMOTE. I know they’re all called that, but its thumbnail is up there ^ and it’s made by a group called 7Illusions (but doesn’t feature on their website yet).
This app controls XBMC (Eden) via http over your WiFi and lets you browse your XBMC library from within the app, displaying all your fan/album art, showing the watched status on your episodes and movies and even has a menu for updating and cleaning your library!
The thing I most like about it however is that in addition to a regular remote layout with touchscreen buttons for up/down/left/right & OK, you have the option of using GesturePad. You have to enable this feature in settings but when switched on it will replace the up/down/left/right & OK buttons with a big grey rectangle.
Using this grey rectangle, instead of looking at your phone every time you want to press a button, you look at it once to find the GesturePad and swipe with your thumb in the direction you wish to navigate. Swipe left for left, swipe up for up and tap your thumb for OK. It makes the interaction a little more pleasant. You still have to look at the phone to find buttons such as back/play/stop etc, but chances are you’d have to do that on a normal remote also.
The app is free to try and £1.49 to buy. It would be nice to have an option for preventing the phone from locking its self, but still a very nice app. You can get it here.