Can You Use iPhone for TV Remote?

Are you tired of changing the channels and controlling other features on your TV with your regular remote? Why not use your iPhone as the remote instead?

But wait, can you use iPhone for the TV remote? If that’s possible, then it will be much more comfortable since you’re always with your iPhone.

That’s exactly what we will be looking at in this article, as to whether the TV remote can be replaced with an iPhone in controlling it.

Yes, the iPhone can replace your TV remote in controlling various features on the television.

With the right app, whether it be a universal TV remote app or a TV remote app dedicated to your television brand, you can easily control your TV.

With your iPhone, controlling the television with the iPhone can be done in two ways, and it all involves the use of mobile applications.

One way is using a universal TV remote app, the other is by using a dedicated TV remote app.

The universal remote apps are compatible with a variety of TV manufacturers. However, the dedicated remote apps are only compatible with a specific TV manufacturer.

Looking at the App Store, you will find remote apps like Smart Remote for Samsung, which is a dedicated remote app for the Samsung brand of televisions.

Along with the remote included with all Apple TV devices, all iPhones come pre-installed with an Apple TV Remote that can be used to control your Apple TVs. This Apple TV Remote can be found in the Control Center on all iOS devices like iPhones and iPads.

Anymote is a universal TV remote app on the App Store and it is compatible with a variety of TV brands.

Other universal remote apps on the App Store include Universal TV Remote: Control, TV Remote Universal, Universal Remote TV, and many others.

All of these applications will allow you to control your TV from your iPhone.

How to use iPhone as TV remote to control your Television

Yes, your iPhone may act as a TV remote for controlling not only your Apple TV but also various other brands of televisions.

However, you can’t just pick up your iPhone and decide to control your television with it without setting them up. It doesn’t work that way.

To start off with, you need to keep a few easy-to-follow principles in mind to make sure you are able to successfully use your iPhone to control any TV.

One of the most important and basic of these principles is to make sure your iPhone and TV are both connected to the same WiFi connection.

Either before or after making sure both iPhone and TV are on the same WiFi connection, you’ll need to download the right app.

As we’ve already mentioned, you can use either a dedicated remote app or a universal one.

Once you make a decision about which one you want to use, you can then download it from the App Store.

Most of these apps are free to download and use, but if you don’t want to have ads running while you’re on the app then you would have to pay for their premium. Some of these apps offer premium features.

For example, if you want to control more than one TV, you will have to purchase the premium package. These and other features are what might incur some cost on the app usage.

Each of these apps come with their own settings and instructions, and you’ll be guided through the installation process. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any mistakes.

Installing and configuring all the connections properly is important so that you can then go ahead and control your TV with your iPhone.

Can I use my iPhone as a universal remote?

In short, universal remotes are types of remotes that have been programmed to control a wide variety of devices from different brands.

So a universal TV remote will be able to control features on both Samsung TV and TLC TV.

So the question is, can iPhone also be used as a universal remote? And the answer is yes, iPhones can be used as universal remotes.

All you need to do is download the right app from the App Store, which is the universal remote app.

Lots of apps claim to be universal apps but they cannot perform as advertised. The only way to find out if an app you’re downloading will be able to do what it promises is to read its reviews.

Go through reviews to see what people who have used the app think about it. If the reviews are good, then you have a better chance of being happy with the app than if the reviews are bad.

One other thing you will have to look at is its compatibility with your iPhone. If it is not compatible, then it won’t work.

There are universal remotes that are compatible with many devices, but there are also remotes that only work with specific brands. So take note of that too before you decide on which app to download.

We recommend these universal remotes for your iOS devices;

Universal Remote TV Smart

Can I use my phone as a remote for a non-smart TV?

What makes it easier for phones to be used as remotes to control TV is when they are both on the same WiFi connection, as I indicated earlier as a necessary requirement for using your phone as a remote.

On the other hand, it becomes a bit difficult when the TV is non-smart, that is cannot be connected to the internet.

As difficult as it may be, it is possible. Yes, you can use your phone as a remote for a non-smart TV, but it may cost you some money.

So let’s give this a shot and see how to control our non-smart TV with our phones. To use your phone as a remote for a non-smart TV, you will need to download the relevant app from either App Store or Google PlayStore, based on your operating system, either iOS or Android.

There may be an additional cost to you, iPhone users, as you’ll need to buy an infrared (IR) blaster.

The majority of Android devices have built-in infrared blasters, so this isn’t a concern for them. The infrared blaster will allow us to control the TV which is not smart.

There are numerous apps on both App Store and Google PlayStore that you can use to connect your phone to your non-smart TV but will recommend three (3) apps for you. These are;

  • AnyMote Universal Remote + WiFi Smart Home Control
  • Twione Universal TV Remote
  • Lean Remote – Universal Remote Control

After downloading your preferred app, you will now have to get your infrared blaster (if your phone doesn’t have it already) to be able to control your non-smart TV from your phone.

IR Blaster Dongle

You’ll now need to purchase an IR blaster dongle for your iPhone. And since iPhone doesn’t have an infrared blaster, a separate dongle for the IR blaster to work would’ve to be purchased.

Besides being without the aux input, when Apple released the iPhone 7 in 2016 they also discontinued the use of the analog headphone jack.

To listen to analog through your iPhone after the iPhone 6, you will need to buy the Apple Lightning Headphone Jack Adapter.

Check these ones out;

  • Zopsc Type-C Wireless Smart IR
  • Baoblaze all-in-one IR Remote Control
  • PADY RO9 iOS Lightning Adapter

Can I control a TV from an Android phone?

We’ve often received questions about whether there is a way to control a TV from your Android phone.

Many people want to be able to switch channels on their TV using an app on their Android phone; they just don’t like having multiple remotes lying around and would prefer that one Android phone do it all.

So to answer the question as to whether one can control the TV from an Android phone, the answer is yes.

Plenty of apps in Google Play will allow you to use your Android phone as a TV remote.

A few best among the many include;

  • Peel Smart Remote
  • TV Droid Pro

Both apps have good ratings in Google Play. They allow you to perform many functions, including changing channels, adjusting volume, turning on/off your set-top box (if applicable), etc.

How to set up and use the Apple TV remote on iPhone or iPad

For iPhone users, you need not go about downloading apps to control your Apple TV. Apple has pre-installed an Apple TV Remote on your phone. And all you need to do is to set it up; then you’re good to go.

So I will take you through how to set your Apple TV Remote up on your iOS devices.

  • Open the Control Center on any iOS device you intend to use.
  • Open the Apple TV remote by tapping on the Apple TV icon from the Control Center
  • On the Apple TV remote app, tap on the virtual control area. And there you are.

NOTE: The Apple TV remote app is available in the Control Center for iOS 12 going up (later). So if your iOS happens to be of a lower version, just take your time and follow the steps beneath to add it to your Control Center.

And before starting the whole thing, ensure your Apple TV and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi. Now let’s go.

  • Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  • Select Control Center.
  • Select Customize Controls.
  • Scroll down to the More Controls section and look for Apple TV Remote.
  • Click on the + icon beside the Apple TV Remote.

You have now successfully added Apple TV Remote to your Control Center; hence you can proceed to your Control Center to turn on your Apple TV with it.


Except for Apple TV, which has already installed a remote, you will need a third-party app to be able to use your iPhone as a TV remote.

There are many remote apps for TV, from dedicated TV remotes that can only control a specific brand of TV to universal remotes that can control a variety of TVs from various manufacturers.

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