Able Remote

I'm turning into a Google TV junkie.  I freely admit it, have no shame in saying it, and am having a ton of fun while it happens. I thought things couldn't get better, until I stumbled across Able Remote in the Android Market. It's a simple concept, and one we've seen before direct from Google -- use your Android smartphone as a remote to control your Google TV. Where the official Google TV remote app begins, Able Remote grabs the reigns and pushes things further in a way that's intuitive, full featured, and a mix of geeky and fun. Yeah, I never thought I'd use the word fun to describe a remote control, either. But it fits.

All the basic features you would want and expect are there. You can search, control playback of video (and your DVR if you're so equipped), enter text and control the pointer and all the other functions you need and want to control your GTV, both as a television as well as an Android-powered funbox that happens to sit in your living room. Setup is a breeze, you simply install the Able Remote app on either your phone or your GTV and fire it up. If you installed it on your phone, firing it up will give you a button to click and install it directly to your GTV from the Market. If you installed it on your Google Television, you scan a giant QR code to install it on your phone. There is no guesswork, and nothing to screw up. Trust me, I tried. So far, everything looks good.  Fully functional, foolproof control of your GTV from your phone. Then it gets cool.

A quick trip into the settings and you'll see something that immediately catches your eye -- a setting to forward notifications from your phone to your Google TV. You have to enable Able Remote as an accessibility service (again, click and you're directed right to the correct place to do so), then restart the app and when a notification comes in while you're using it, it pushes right to your television. On paper, this sounds annoying. Especially if you get a lot of messages. But the first time you watch a movie while you're supposed to be working, and instead of having to pull your phone out of your pocket to see what's up, you get a small unobtrusive pop up near the bottom of the screen. From there, you can decide if you need to answer, of just ignore it until your show is over.  I recommend the latter -- life is short.

If that weren't good enough, the folks at Entertailion have built voice control into the app. Yes, voice control. Change channel by name or number if you're watching TV, start an application by saying "app Google Music" or "app Netflix", search by keyword and even run macros you've set up if you buy the $0.99 premium version. Add in the ability to forward photos and video from the gallery on your phone to your television, and push a website from phone to TV, and you have a real winner here. Able Remote is more than just an app -- it ties your Android phone and Google TV together to make an entertainment ecosystem. Grab it for free in the Market, you'll be glad you did.  Download links, a video, and screenshots are after the break. 

 

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Able Remote

Able Remote

Easily install Able Remote on both your phone and Google TV

 

Able Remote  Able Remote

Able Remote

Initial setup is simple

 

Able Remote  Able Remote

Control all the features of your Google TV

 

Able Remote  Able Remote

Able Remote

Able Remote

Notification alerts from your phone are displayed on your television after simple setup

 

Able Remote

Control your Google TV with your voice and feel like Captain Kirk!

 

Reader comments

Able Remote [GoogleTV app review]

8 Comments

I like the app, but like I said in the market. Why does it have to be so hideous? Ok we get it, we are Geeks. But can we also have some UI polish?

This APP is awesome, I have been using it since the beta days, it has gotten better. But there is one thing I think is very important for potential users (also its kinda annoying); You must have the app on your phone open and the screen on, in order for notifications to get forwarded to you GTV. It tends to drain the battery slightly more than normal that way. Not to mention, its hard to get in the habit of leaving the screen on the phone on.

I love how you had to blur whatever third option Swiftkey was offering. In fact, it's sort of a privacy issue with that keyboard if you give your phone to somebody else, or even if they are watching while you type, you might reveal more about yourself than you intended.

You can change the hideous color if you pay for the "pro" version.

I have a G2x running CM7 and a Revue running stock Honeycomb and for the life of me can't get notifications to push to the TV. It's set up on my phone am I missing something?

EDIT: after some tinkering figured out it only works if the Able app is running on the phone which to me makes it less useful. Also if you're using a Wi-Fi calling phone you get two notifications when the phones rings first one being the "Wi-Fi calling uses plan minutes" then "call from xxx-xxx-xxxx"