VooMote One - Universal Remote Control Compatible with iPhone 3GS/4G and iPod Touch 3rd/4th Generation by Zero1.tv
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- Controls your TV
- Controls your DVD player
- Controls your stereo
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VooMote One turns your 3GS/4G and iPod touch 3rd Generation /4th Generation into a universal remote control. The VooMote One slides onto your iPhone with ease, while still allowing full control of the iPhone itself. Once the device is connected and the free app loaded, it instantly transforms your iPhone into a fully functional universal remote for your TVs, DVD players, stereo systems, consumer electronics and more, ultimately eliminating the need to have several remotes to control your consumer electronics. VooMote One finally provides you with a modern remote that doesn't require batteries or deplete the battery life of your iPhone.
Top customer reviews
I was able to download the VooMote One app easily from the appstore. My iPod (and our iPhone) slipped easily into the case, although the case did add a significant amount of bulk to the iPod (note you have to remove all other protective cases from the iPhone or iPod to use the VooMote which does not make it easy to slip in and out of unless you have an uncased iPod).
That was where all the ease of use stopped. Even though we have name-brand TVs and DVD players, not a single one of the default settings for those appliances worked. No problem, I thought, the VooMote is able to "learn" settings from existing remotes. The default settings let me change the channel but not the volume on the TV and did nothing for either of my DVD players. So I decided to walk through the process of training the universal remote with my other remotes. This seemed to work, but still only a few functions worked and only sometimes. I never was able to lower the volume on the TV although I could increase it sometimes. The DVD player functions work sporadically. It almost seems like the infrared sensor is bad on my VooMote, but there are enough people with similar experiences that I don't think so. Also, some functions work every time and some only sometimes and some never.
So after a few hours of fiddling, I decided that the VooMote is a bad product for at least the following reasons:
-The shell isn't any cheaper than many other universal remotes but you still have to provide the brains (the iPod/iPhone)
-The shell adds a ton of bulk to the iPod.
-Unless you have a dedicated iPod to place in the VooMote it isn't practical to take your iPhone/iPod out of its case to put it in this one everytime you want to change a channel. So the total cost of this universal remote once you've provided the iDevice is over $250. Ouch!
-It doesn't work
The cradle comes with a few inserts allowing it to adjust to the various shapes and thicknesses of all the devices it supports. The bottom features an Apple dock connector, and the top has the infrared flasher. My iPhone 4 was a very tight fit. Unfortunately you have to remove the iPhone from its case, and the top corners of the device are not protected.
Inserting the iPhone into the VooMote automatically asks you if you want to install the app if it's not on the device, a nice touch.
The application itself is very polished and works well.
You setup the app by creating multiple rooms (family room, kitchen, living room, etc...). In each room you add all the devices in this room (for instance TV, receiver, DVD player, radio...). In each room you can also create a combined device from some of the devices in this room, for added convenience.
To add a device, you select the device class (Television, Audio device, DVD player...), the brand, and then the app starts a wizard which tests various codes for you and asks you if the device responded. I would have appreciated the option to enter the device model number instead. Once the wizard is completed, the new device appears in the device list with an appropriate icon.
Virtual remotes for my devices (TiVo Premiere, Onkyo receiver, Panasonic plasma and Blu-Ray player) were complete and accurate. Each remote features multiple panels (swipe to switch between the various panels) with adequate button redundancy.
If your device is not available, the VooMote can learn the codes of an existing remote and assign them to a generic device type controller.
- Powerful IR blaster
- Learning feature
- Large device database
- Polished app
- Poor device design leaving the top corners of your iDevice exposed
- Tight fit and no charging pass-through, you have to take the iPhone out to charge
- Setup process is tedious
- No customization possible (rearranging buttons, creating a simple combined remote for grandma, using custom logos for backgrounds and buttons...)
[EDIT] customization is indeed possible as pointed out by the VooMote team. My apologies.
- No macros
[EDIT] macros are possible, although creating macros that target multiple devices is complicated (it requires creating a "OneView" virtual remote integrating all the devices that need to be targeted by the macro)
There are two ways you can use one of the various remote products for iPhone: either connect to the device when you're home (there are various doohickeys that plug into the docking connector or the audio jack, and bluetooth or wifi extenders); or permanently dedicate a device to the task, such as an iPod touch or an older model iPhone. Unfortunately, the VooMote One is utterly inept at both uses: it's too tedious to insert and remove the phone, everytime removing it from its case if you use one; and its design forces you to take the phone out regularly for charging anyway. It would have been so simple to add a mini or micro USB connector at the bottom, or even better, include a charging dock to keep the remote when not in use.
Factor in the lack of protection at the top and the limitations of the software, and the VooMote One is just one of these products that could have been really good but fail right out of the gate.
That's too bad. The software is good, and the hardware works well despite a couple of terribly bad design choices. But as it is, I find this product too flawed to recommend.
[EDIT] Thanks to the VooMote team for pointing out the inaccuracies in my review. It is indeed possible to customize remotes and create macros, and I apologize for missing that in my initial review. Unfortunately, the maddening limitations of the hardware remain and prevent me from recommending this product.
VooMote tells me they will be releasing a new, simpler product that can be used on an iPhone without removing the case. That sounds like a good idea for an entry level product, but I still believe that a few minor changes to the VooMote One (adding protection for the phone on all corners and a charging cradle) would turn it from a dud into a five star product.
Maybe I'll try again when they update the iPhone app and see if begins working better. Because I really want this to work. I love the idea of it.
Most recent customer reviews
I've been testing this device for a pretty long time before reviewing. These are my findings:
- I do like the cradle but it won't let you charge...Read more