How to use an iPhone as a remote control

Among the many uses of the iPhone, there is one that can be useful: we can use it as a remote control, thanks to some apps on the App Store.

The iPhone (and smartphones in general) have now reached an immeasurable versatility to the point that it is possible to do (almost) everything through these “small” touchscreen devices. Taking pictures, surfing the Internet, and playing video games, just to mention the most common uses, but also working and even controlling the TV at home. 

Yes, you got it right: you can use iPhone as a remote control. In the blink of an eye, you will be able to change channels, turn up the volume and replicate all the other classic functions of normal TV controllers. Convenient, isn’t it?

Also because it could be very useful in different contexts: the TV remote control is too far from the sofa and you don’t want to get up for any reason in the world, it doesn’t work or you have simply lost it. We know very well that these things are far from uncommon, right?

In this guide, we will see how to turn iPhone into a universal remote control for TV thanks to some useful applications on the App Store, free and paid.

Before starting, we invite you to read our in-depth study on how to watch streaming TV channels from your phone, since we are on the subject with the subject.


  • The apps to download
  • How to use iPhone as an Apple TV remote
  • How to use iPhone as an infrared remote control
  • How to use iPhone as a gate remote control

App to use iPhone as a remote control

App to use iPhone as a remote control
App to use iPhone as a remote control

To use iPhone as a remote control it is first of all necessary to keep in mind one thing: the procedure is only possible with a smart TV (therefore not valid for older generation televisions) and in any case, it is also good that there is a correspondence between the Wi-Fi network of the smartphone and that of the TV (both devices must therefore be connected to the same wireless network). 

The home router should also not be underestimated: it must have the UPnP function active, to be enabled in the device settings. Given the multiplicity of routers on the market, with different brands and types, we cannot help you recover the function.

You will then have to tinker with the router settings and enable the word UPnP.

In any case, the information we have given you is very important because, unlike some Android smartphones (and there are not many today), it is not possible to use the iPhone as an infrared remote control, since the “iPhone by” does not have a special IR sensor.

Therefore, the only way to control the TV via iPhone is to take advantage of applications that work on Wi-Fi and therefore allow the Apple smartphone to be able to “talk” with the home TV.

Let’s talk about apps to use the smartphone as a remote control. One of the programs that we suggest is Remote Control for Smart TVs, available on the App Store (as well as for Android devices) and which uses the infrared port or the Wi-Fi network (as in the case of the iPhone) to use the smartphone as a remote control. , also ensuring excellent coverage with many smart TVs on the market, including LG, Samsung, Sharp, Philips, Haier, Hitachi, and other popular brands.

Alternatively, on the App Store, there are specific applications to turn the iPhone into a remote control, made in this case by various manufacturers (as is the case of Bravia Controller – Sony TV or TVs remote control for LG smart TVs with webOS operating system). More generalist, but equally valid, is the Universal TV remote control, with a similar operation to the first application above. 

Beyond the choice of which app to use among those just proposed (or others available on the App Store), the operation of these applications is essentially the same. It will be sufficient to open the program, choose the type of control (Wi-Fi or infrared, but in the case of the iPhone you will always have to click on the first option) and then select TV and the brand to start using the smartphone as a remote control. 

How to use iPhone as an Apple TV remote

iPhone as an Apple TV remote
iPhone as an Apple TV remote

Note: The Apple TV Remote in the Control Center is only compatible with Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Apple TV 3rd generation, and AirPlay 2 compatible smart TVs. Therefore, before proceeding with the steps below, please check your Apple TV model.

Now we finally get to the heart of the procedure. The first thing to do is to check the iOS version installed on the iPhone. If you are using an “iPhone by” with the latest software release of the Apple operating system on board, know that the Apple TV Remote is already automatically present in the Control Center. Conversely, you will need to add it yourself by following this path:

  • Open the Settings app ;
  • Click on Control Center ;
  • Press the + (Add) button next to Apple TV Remote to add the aforementioned function in the Control Center of the smartphone. 

These steps also apply to iPad and iPod Touch.

At this point, all that remains is to open the Control Center.

As we saw in the guide on how to set Background Sounds on iOS 15, there are several ways to access the screen, as many as there are compatible Apple devices: 

  • On an iPhone without a Home button: swipe down from the top right corner of the screen;
  • On iPhone with Home button: Swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen;
  • On iPad: Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen.

Once in Control Center, tap Apple TV Remote and select your Apple TV or AirPlay 2 compatible smart TV from the list. The TV screen will show a four-digit code that must be entered on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to validate the pairing.

Having trouble setting up the Apple TV Remote? In addition to checking the iOS version, please check that your compatible iPhone or Apple device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2 compatible smart TV.

If not, try restarting both devices: this last remedy will allow you to interrupt any processes in progress that could hinder the normal functioning of the procedure.

How to use iPhone as an infrared remote control

iPhone as an infrared remote control
iPhone as an infrared remote control

As we wrote at the beginning, it is not possible to use iPhone as an infrared remote control, as the Apple device does not have the appropriate IR sensor dedicated to the purpose. To do this, you will need to have some Android smartphones equipped with this component (less and less frequently, to be honest), including above all Xiaomi devices such as the recent Redmi Note 11.

If you are linked to Apple and do not want to switch to Android, you can buy an external IR module to be combined with your smartphone. This is not the best possible solution, and it is for this reason that we suggest you use the Wi-Fi connection guaranteed by the applications that we mentioned in this article.

How to use iPhone as a gate remote control

To use iPhone as a gate remote control, we suggest you take advantage of HomeKit, the Apple home system designed to control home automation.

By purchasing HomeKit-compatible devices online, it will be possible to manage gates or garages by downloading the specific application created by the device manufacturer via the App Store.

Read more about iPhone 14 Pro Max Review: Power, Autonomy, And Price

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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