How to Use Your iPhone as a TV Remote

Close-up of person sitting in bed holding smart phone with remote on screen while television plays in background.

Image: Grace Carey via Getty Images – Illustration: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

Every time a Roku, Fire TV or regular television remote gets lost between the couch cushions or tossed somewhere by a kid, I’m looking for different manufacturer’s apps to control the TV. But, if you have a compatible Smart TV, such as a stop either fire tvor one Apple TV 4KYou can skip the extra apps and just use your iPhone as your new remote.

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Before you begin, make sure that your television is on and connected to the same network as your iPhone.

When you use your iPhone as a remote control, note that not all TVs will have all controls. Depending on the television, you may not be able to turn it on or off or access the volume.

How to use your iPhone as your TV remote

We have a 2.4 GHz network at our home for all of our smart devices, including all of our smart TVs and streaming devices like our Roku TV Stick and Fire TV Stick. It only took us a few seconds to switch networks whenever we wanted to use AirPlay or control the TV via our phone.

iPhone with network settings on screen.

Make sure your iPhone is connected to the same network as the Smart TV you want to control.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

You can find your iPhone’s Control Center by swiping down from the top right of your screen.

iPhone Control Center.

Swipe down from the top right of the screen to access Control Center.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

The remote control button may be in your Control Center, if you can’t find it, just tap the AirPlay icon (the circle with the triangle at the bottom) in the top right.

AirPlay icon and remote control button on iPhone.

Select the AirPlay icon or remote control button.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

Available televisions will be on the same network as you and compatible with AirPlay. Select the television you want to control.

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If you tap on the AirPlay icon, your screen will look like the first image below. Choose which television to control.

When you tap on the remote control button from the control center, it will go directly to the remote control options like in the second image below. Select the television you want to control.

Remote control icon on iPhone.

Once you’ve selected the television you want to control, you can tap on the small remote control on the left to access the TV controls.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

TV selection option on iPhone.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

Your iPhone is now also a remote control for your television or streaming device.

iPhone remote control feature.

This is what the remote control of the iPhone looks like.

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNET

I’ve been trying to make “remote boats” a thing ever since everyone loved the Raymond episode where Frank gets one, and I can’t understand why no one in my house is doing it. Wanted.

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But using our iPhones as remote controls has made our remote bots almost redundant. Although the iPhone’s remote control has limited options, I can finally stop keeping track of all the different little remotes from our streaming devices that seem just the right size and shape to slip between couch cushions.

general question

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

you can if you add a Apple TV 4K, Otherwise, you’ll need to download a separate app to use your iPhone as a remote, such as the Universal Remote app or Fire TV or Roku TV. Although the newer Fire TV smart TVs support AirPlay, the Fire TV Stick and Cube are not compatible with AirPlay.

Why can’t I see the remote control buttons on Control Center?

If you don’t see the Remote Control option on Control Center and want to add it, you can go to Adjustment, then choose control center, Then add the shortcuts you want to add, including the remote control option.

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