Seven Apps That Can Secretly Act As a Remote Control

There are countless universal apps to control smartphones remotely , but chances are you don’t really need them. Lots of apps, including Spotify and YouTube, have built-in hidden remote access features.


The Spotify Connect feature is one of the little-known features of the app. If you’re a premium subscriber, you can use your phone or tablet apps as a remote control for your computer if you’re signed in to the same account. In the mobile app, tap the Now Playing bar> Connect button (speaker icon) and select your computer. Your mobile device is now a remote control.


Like Spotify, Rdio has a remote access function with which you can easily use your iOS or Android device to control web apps and desktop apps. As long as you are signed in to the same account, Rdio will automatically recognize that it is being used on a different device. In the mobile app, click the “Rdio is playing elsewhere” button at the bottom of the screen and you can start using it as a remote control.


The YouTube app can act as a remote control for smart TVs, game consoles, and computers as long as you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network (just like you can with Chromecast ). Pairing an app with a device of your choice is straightforward, but it may differ slightly depending on the device. You can find instructions for this on the selection device here .


Netflix has apps on almost every device, and you can control many of them with the Netflix app on your phone if you’re on the same Wi-Fi network. Just launch Netflix on your game console or smart TV, open the Netflix app on your phone, and you will see a button in the bottom right corner to pair them together. Now you can pause, skip, play, and more from your phone.

Hulu plus

Like the Netflix app, the Hulu smartphone app can be used as a remote control for various game consoles and some smart TVs. The setup works too. If you are on the same Wi-Fi network, in the lower right corner you will see a button to broadcast the screen. From here, you can use your device as a remote control.

Keynote address

It’s probably no surprise that Apple’s Keynote app for iOS can be used as a remote if you’re using the same app on your desktop, but it’s a feature you might have forgotten about. However, the process of pairing an iOS device with your Mac is a bit cumbersome:

  1. Open Keynote on your iOS device.
  2. Select Presentation Manager and tap the play icon.
  3. Open Keynote on your Mac
  4. Choose Keynote> Preferences.
  5. Click the remote control windows and select Enable.
  6. Click the link next to your iOS device and wait for the four-digit code to appear.
  7. Make sure the four-digit codes match

Once connected, you can use your iOS device to cycle through slides or whatever.

Xbox SmartGlass

The Xbox SmartGlass apps are billed as a way to add a second screen to your Xbox One or Xbox 360, but they can also be used like regular remote controls for your Xbox device of choice. Once paired with your console, the app can act as a universal remote for all of your entertainment offerings, as well as the Xbox interface itself.


Leave a Reply