One of the many advantages of Android being on all your devices is that they can interact with each other. A great example is the ability to use your phone as a remote control for when you forget, lose, break or damage your Android TV remote, whether it’s a TV or a device that turns your TV into a smart TV.
So, if you don’t have the remote nearby, you can use your phone to open apps, play movies or series, watch videos on YouTube or, in general, do everything that Android TV allows. But replacing the physical buttons with a remote control in the form of an app on your phone. You can even combine the two if, for example, your physical remote does not have a keyboard or numbers for certain applications that do require them.
The list of remote control apps for Android TV is very extensive. Here are several examples so you can take advantage of your Android phone and use it to control your TV without getting up from the couch when the remote is far from your reach.
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Android TV Remote Service
First of all, the official Google app. Android TV Remote Service is the application responsible for your Android phone or tablet to control your TV or Android TV device.
As usual, the app displays on screen all kinds of controls. The usual to move through the menu and applications, volume control, return to the home menu, request Google Assistant services or display a keyboard to fill in search fields or forms much faster than with the default control of your TV.
Android TV Remote Service works over WiFi and/or Bluetooth, so if one method of pairing phone and TV doesn’t work for you, try the other. And depending on the version of Android you have installed on your smartphone, you will find a shortcut to this app in Quick Settings.
Mi Remote controller
Manufacturers like Xiaomi also offer their own applications to control their Android-based devices, Android TV or Google TV. This time, Mi Remote controller is an app that serves to control all kinds of devices. This includes TV sets, DVD players, projectors, etc.
The particularity of this remote control app is that it can be paired with Android TV devices using infrared and/or WiFi. Depending on the type of device, you will prefer one or the other option. For using Mi TV or Mi Box TVs, WiFi is better.
Another advantage of Mi Remote controller is that it is not limited to Xiaomi phones. You’ll be able to install it on virtually any Android phone from manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei or HTC, in addition to Xiaomi brands like Redmi.
Its creators claim that Zank Remote helps you remotely control Android TV and Amazon Fire TV devices over WiFi. In return you get a potpourri of remote control options for different tasks like typing, controlling a video, controlling music, etc.
By default, with this app you will be able to replace all the buttons on your Android TV remote control. But you will also have other buttons to turn your Android phone screen into a trackpad, a game pad, an alphanumeric keyboard, etc.
If the ad-supported free version of Zank Remote doesn’t cover your needs, the paid version adds other options, such as air mouse, multimedia controls on the main screen, etc.
With support for infrared and WiFi, UniMote is another great remote control application that turns your Android phone into a remote control with buttons that adapt to what you want to do: enter text, type numbers, move through the Android TV menu, manage TV channels or volume…
In the section dedicated to Android TV, it gets along well with any manufacturer. As usual for pairing via WiFi, you must connect phone and TV to the same WiFi hotspot to find each other.
In addition to the remote control buttons, UniMote incorporates the screen mirroring function to show on Android TV what you see on your smartphone. That and also the ability to send videos or photos to the TV via WiFi.