The 10 Best iOS and Android Remote Home Theater Control Apps

Take control of your home theater system with your smartphone or tablet

Today's cell phones are for more than just making phone calls. They have evolved into smartphones that are used for a variety of tasks. One interesting way to use a smartphone, or even a tablet, is as a remote control for home theater components and home automation systems. If you are a smartphone or tablet user, check out some interesting remote control apps that can make operating your home theater system easier.

Having a table or drawer cluttered with remotes for your TV and other components is definitely not desirable. You can opt for an expensive custom-installed home theater/home control system which requires a lot of in-wall wiring, but there is an easier solution, the Harmony Elite Remote Control System.

The Harmony Elite consists of the three elements: A handheld Harmony remote control, the Harmony Hub, and Smartphone App. The Harmony Elite also features a rechargeable battery and charging station. The system can control up to 15 compatible devices (The Harmony Database has control codes for up to 270,000, so you should be covered.

The Logitech Harmony Hub combines hardware with iOS and Android Apps that allows your compatible smartphone to control up to eight home theater components. The apps have access to the Harmony Remote Control Database, which includes codes for over 270,000 consumer electronics and home theater devices.

The Alexa app is one of the most versatile remote apps available. Once downloaded to either an iOS or Android phone, you can link it to Amazon's Echo (and some third party) devices and from there, just enable any one of several third-party Alexa skills. Using voice commands, you can easily manage content and some basic control features for compatible home theater receivers, multi-room audio systems, environmental devices, locks, and more - and that is all in addition to Alexa's traditional shopping and information capabilities.

Some of the products that can integrate with Alexa include the Denon HEOS and Play-Fi wireless multi-room audio platforms, select Logitech remote controls, Samsung's Smart things, and more.

If you have a device that is Alexa-compatible, take advantage of the Alexa App.

If you have a home Wi-Fi network, this app for both iOS and Android allows users of select Yamaha home theater receivers to control basic functions such as input selection, volume, zone power, and settings for connected Bluetooth devices.

Owners of Onkyo 2009 and later, network home theater receivers can use the Onkyo Remote Control App to access a variety of functions, including volume, input selection, radio tuning, navigating internet radio and streaming services, and more, using an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. The app is free for Onkyo owners.

If you own an OPPO Blu-ray Disc player (Models BDP-93, 95, 103/103D, 105/105D, 203/205 or newer), OPPO now offers downloadable remote control apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Also, the iPad version also includes the ability to navigate through media files and cover art, as well as control multiple players.

Sony TV Side View Remote App Logo
Sony TV Side View Remote App Logo. Image provided by Sony

The Sony TV Side View Media Remote app for iOS and Android devices provide control of many Sony home theater receivers, Blu-ray Disc players, and TVs. In addition, even when you are not at home, you still access to an online TV program guide, so you can rush home and catch those favorite shows! Also, a search feature is included for finding TV shows and movies easier. More »

Here is an app that allows the user to control devices that have been integrated into a Control4 home automation system. Depending on what is part of the system, this app can control audio and video components, as well as lighting, heating, and air conditioning.

The app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices, and even PCs, and Macs.

Pioneer Electronics - IControlAV5
Pioneer Electronics - IControlAV5. Images provided by Pioneer Electronics

This remote control app allows users to control select Pioneer home theater components. This app not provides basic control but can aid you setting all your audio and video parameters, including speaker setup, surround sound listening modes, and video upscaling. Also, using the "push player feature", iControlAV5 also controls AirPlay streaming features, including access to Album art and liner notes. The app also provides input and listening mode status information. More »

Crestron Mobile Pro
Crestron Mobile Pro. Image provided by Crestron

Here is an app for compatible iPhone, iPad, and Android devices that allow the user to control devices that have been integrated into a Crestron home theater or home environment control system. This app can control audio and video components, as well as lighting, heating, air conditioning, and security. More »

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