November 29, 2023

Novoda Software

Software Guides and Reviews

The Best Android Remote Apps for Vizio TVs – September 2019

It’s not always easy to remember in the days of Android smartphones totally dominating the marketplace and everyone (and their grandma) having a consumer-grade Android phone from a giant carrier, but there was a time when Android phones were kind of hacker-ish. The wide open nature of the underlying Unix roots and the ability of manufacturers to create infinite combinations of solid (but wildly varying) hardware and software configurations meant that phones could have really wide (and sometimes wild) feature sets. That’s still true today – if you don’t like one phone, you can choose another, complete with its own set of features and hardware tools. One of the less-common but still cool features you can find on some phones is known as an IR blaster.

If you don’t know what an IR blaster is, you’re probably not alone. But that doesn’t mean you don’t use one everyday—in fact, you almost certainly own at least one. Most TV remotes on modern TVs use infrared (IR) light to send commands from the remote to the television itself. The use of the IR standard is why you can pair your television with a universal remote so easily, and it’s why your remote has to be pointed at the television to send signals (and usually won’t work through walls). The hardware community has taken to calling pretty much any controllable IR emitter an “IR blaster” because, well, “IR blaster” sounds a lot cooler than “controllable IR emitter.”

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One great thing about IR blasters—they’re pretty cheap to throw into hardware. Plenty of platforms use them, including game consoles like the Wii U, for controlling televisions from atypical devices. Even better—some phones have the same capability, which means you can install applications from the Play Store to control your television or Blu-Ray player without the need for a remote. It means you can even control televisions at bars or restaurants, though you should do that at your own risk.

Of course, not every Android phone has an IR blaster built into the device. It’s a feature that’s seemingly fallen out of style over the last three years, as other features with more mass appeal like wireless charging and waterproof devices have begun to flood the market. Wikipedia has put together a great list of devices with an IR blaster, so you’ll want to head over to their site to check out the full list. While there are some newer flagships from these companiesUnfortunately, newer flagships from these companies, including the Galaxy S9 and S10, the LG G8, and all of Google’s Pixel devices don’t feature the same IR blasting capabilities as their older counterparts. In fact, as of 2019, only Huawei and Xiaomi still make phones with IR-blasters build into the phone.

Most phones with IR blasters come with included remote applications for Android, allowing you to control televisions and other IR-supported platforms out of the box. If you find those apps lacking, or your want your remote app to look a bit more like the base remote for your television, take a look at our guide below. We’ll be looking at a couple apps that mirror Vizio’s remote controls, complete with the ability to launch the applications built into your Vizio television set. We’ll also be looking at a couple of examples of apps designed to be a bit more universal, but still great for your Vizio set.

Without further ado, let’s dive into some remote apps for your phone!