ThinkFlood Releases RedEye Universal Remote into Beta

Posted by at 12:12 am on May 18, 2011

ThinkFlood has given owners access to a universal remote app through a beta version of RedEye for Android. Much like the iPhone version, it can steer either the regular Wi-Fi using RedEye or a RedEye Pro and send both raw and programmed IR commands to home theater gear, including multi device tasks like switching on a TV and starting a movie player. It works with at least Android 1.6 on phones and scales up to Android 3.0 tablets.

The beta version faces several limitations, most of which are due to Android fragmentation. App users can’t try the RedEye mini since the company both needs to verify whether there are problems with certain phones’ headphone jacks. Owners also need to have an Android phone that allows non-Market apps for the beta, which rules out most AT&T phones until the company pushes out more of its non-Market Android updates. Five HTC phones, including the Aria, Desire, Evo 4G, Hero, and myTouch Slide, don’t support Wi-Fi multicasting and need to talk to the Redeye directly by IP address.

The RedEye mini might also not work at all on Android, as Java may be too slow to keep up with the live audio processing that iOS can do in native code, ThinkFlood said.

Getting set up will for now need an iOS device, though on-Android setup is coming later. Android phones that haven’t been rooted can’t usually get on to ad hoc Wi-Fi like an iPhone and have to talk to the RedEye on an infrastructure Wi-Fi network that would need an iPhone or iPod’s help first. Universal remote support has been uncommon on Android for these reasons but is expected to get easier with some devices through Google’s Android@Home initiative.

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