IR blasters. That little LED that typically sits behind a dark plastic shield on your TV’s remote controllers. Well if you hadn’t noticed, they are starting to migrate toward mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets.
Samsung first integrated this feature on the Galaxy Tab 7.7, which was used to interface with a user’s home theater setup via onboard app Peel. Now I know what you’re thinking, “more Samsung bloatware,” but I assure you that this feature will be well worth it considering reviewers commented that “Peel’s a great TV Guide-like app that helps you find stuff to watch; it uses a setup wizard to connect to your whole home theater setup, and then wirelessly controls all of it.”
While there is no official mention of Peel being included on the Galaxy S IV, you can simply download the app from the Play Market. Now with software integration settled, our first question was going to be, how is Samsung going to manage to slap on a big IR blaster on to the super thin Galaxy S IV in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing? By making it super tiny of course:
While HTC’s implementation may be a bit sleeker (power button + IR blaster), it forced them to put the power button on top of the device: a big no-no for such a large smartphone. The Galaxy S IV is merely a 3rd dot in the trinity of noise canceling mic and headphone socket.
Looks like the universal remote will finally see its demise as full-fledged smartphones begin to host IR blasters. As an avid Google TV user, the potential to pair my phone with my TV as a controller makes infinite sense. No more clunky controllers with mediocre keyboards. No more navigating menus at a snail’s pace with arrow keys. No more ‘losing the remote,’ because if you do, you’ll also be losing your phone. We can’t wait to get our hands on a Galaxy S IV to test out this, and many other features!