I recently received an Apple Remote Control as a gift from somebody at college and I have got to say that I was unsure of whether or not it would benefit me but in the short amount of time I have had it, it has come in useful a lot. I did already have iPod earphones which had a mini-remote on them but this one is portable and is a lot more handy.
The remote itself only has 6 buttons.
- Play / Pause / Enter / Select
- Skip Forward / Fast Forward / Next
- Skip Backwards / Rewind / Previous
- Volume Increase / Arrow Up
- Volume Decrease / Arrow Down
- Menu / Back
For Use With
The Apple Remote is compatible with iPod's when the device is plugged into the Universal Dock and is also compatible with iPhone and Apple TV's, as well as Macbook, Macbook Pro and iMac's. I only own a Macbook Pro and an iPod but i do not have a Universal Dock so I can not test it out with an iPod. I have seen it used with Front Row on an iMac but not with any other program so I am mainly going to write about it's functionality with my Macbook Pro.
Pressing the 'Menu' button when aimed at a Mac, brings up the application Front Row which allows you to scroll through your music, photos and films and control the viewing and listening by just using the remote. Another press of the 'Menu' button exits the program or goes back a page. Using the remote with Front Row was very useful for me. I could place my Macbook Pro on the table and control what I am listening to or watching from the sofa with the remote. Very handy.
Obviously where the remote comes in most handy is when used in conjunction with iTunes and because the remote is styled in a similar way to that of an iPod, the buttons are familiar and not too hard to get your head around. You can access iTunes using the remote by simply pressing the 'play/pause' button in the centre of the remote. As with Front Row, you can skip songs, skip back a song, play, pause and fast forward and rewind songs. The only downside I've noticed with the remote's use with iTunes is that you can not close iTunes with the remote once it is open but that's not really a big issue.
PowerPoint / KeyNote
Being a college student, and getting ever closer to moving on to university, I seem to do my fair share of presentations in front of my peers as part of my studies and this is where the Apple Remote could potentially come in handy. The remote works with presentation programs such as Microsoft Powerpoint and Key Note. This is incredibly useful for if you want to present a presentation but don't want to be standing next to the laptop or computer you are running it off just so you can advance to the next slide. With a simple press of the Skip Forward and Skip Backwards buttons you can advance to the next slide or go back to previous slides at ease.
The remote takes one CR 2032 battery and this is placed into the remote through the door at the bottom of the remote which can be opened by pushing the release button with a paper clip or small pin. The battery in question is similar to the kind of battery that watches and small torces often take.
The much newer model is available for around £15 on the Apple Store but if you want this specific model (A1156) then it is widely available for around £12. Both of these types of remotes serve the same purpose.
I haven't owned my remote for long but like I said in the background section at the start, it has come in very handy already and will continue to be useful for as long as the battery lasts but even then it only takes another battery and you're up and running again.