When you connect the I Got Control IRB1 to your iPod, you are automatically prompted to install the accompanying i-Got-Control App – a free download from the Apple iTunes AppStore.

Once installed, the i-Got-Control App opens to a blank screen and prompts you to add a new device. You select your device from a list of thousands of pre-programmed devices by using a multi-step tumbler. The first simple step in programming the IRB1 is to use the first tumbler to select the type of device (Cable Box, DVD Player, TV, etc.) you would like to use.

The second simple step is to use the second tumbler to select the name brand of the device. There are hundreds of name brands listed in alphabetical order so this may be a long list. Fortunately, there is a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the page that allows you to quickly jump through the list. For example: in our test system we selected TV from the first tumbler, used the scroll bar to advance the second tumbler to “P” and then spun the second tumbler just a few clicks to select Panasonic.

The third, and final, simple step in programming our Panasonic Plasma TV is to select a code from the third and last tumbler. Several four-digit codes are listed from the extensive IR library included with the IRB1. You find the correct code for your device by selecting one in the third tumbler and then pressing the TEST POWER button at the top of the page. Once the IRB1 shuts the power off of the device you are programming you may select the DONE button at the top of the page.

When you are done adding a new device an icon is placed on the home page and two pages are set-up for that device. The page layouts vary with the type of device (i.e. the TV pages would do not include transport buttons but a Cable DVR or DVD player obviously would). The pages are visually attractive, the buttons are easy to read, and they even look great on an iPad in 2x mode. Of course, we’re looking forward to a hi-res interface optimized for the iPad but, for now, we’re just so pleased that the device and App work perfectly on the iPad that we’re happy to wait for the update that takes advantage of the larger screen.

While testing the codes, we noticed a couple of i-Got-Control IRB1 features that make the iPod easier to use as a remote control. One objection that people have with using an iPod as a remote control is the fact that you do not get the feedback from the touchscreen as you do from pressing a button on a hard-button remote. The IRB1 has both visual and audible feedback that helps make up for the loss of the tactile sensation. The i-Got-Control App default settings include an audible key click with each button press. You may turn this off at any time but we found it to be very helpful and very subtle. There are also two small green LED lights on the device itself that flash when a command is being transmitted. I wish every touchscreen solution included visual feedback like this!

In our test set-up we repeated these three simple steps and quickly added device pages for our TV, Cable DVR and Receiver. One challenge we ran into with the codes was that the code set for our Yamaha receiver included a DISCRETE OFF command mapped to the power button but no DISCRETE ON command to turn the device back on. No problem though. The IRB1 is also a learning remote. We just took out our original Yamaha AV Receiver remote control and taught the DISCRETE ON command and mapped it to the power button on the first device page while still keeping the OFF command mapped to the power button on page two. This works perfectly and makes a lot of sense too.

We also use a Sony Playstation 3 as our Blu-ray Disc player. If you are a fan of Remote Shoppe you know that the PS3 does not have an IR receiver built-in and may only be controlled by a Bluetooth remote. I’m sure you’re also aware of the several excellent IR to Bluetooth adapters that allow you to use any universal remote to control your Blu-ray Disc playback from the Playstation 3. We were a bit surprised to see that the codes for these popular adapters are not part of the IR database in the IRB1. But, since i-Got-Control has the ability to learn any IR command, we used the Schmartz PS3IR-1000 to teach the IRB1 the commands we needed to control the PS3. Here’s how it works:

Follow the three simple steps for programming the i-Got-Control IRB1 to add a Sony DVD Player. Any code set will do. The objective is just to create the pages you need.
Connect the Schmartz PS3IR 1000 to the USB port on your PC with this FREE Schmartz Programming Utility
Select the “TEACH YOUR REMOTE” tab in the Utility. Place the IRB1 in learning mode by selecting the EDIT button on the home page and the Graduation Cap Icon on the bottom right corner of your new Sony DVD player icon.
Teach the codes, one button at a time. This actually goes very quickly 😉
If you are considering the i-Got-Control IRB1 and would also like to control your Sony Playstation 3 then you’ll want to take a look at this special discounted bundle Remote Shoppe has put together with the Schmartz PS3IR1000. (reg $69.95 for IRB1, $89.95 for IR1000 – Bundle = $139.95)

Now that we have told you how we were able to program all of the devices in our test system with just three simple steps we suggest taking a look at some of the other Settings options included in the App. Just select the Setup button at the top left of the home page for some global settings.

You can turn the audible key click on or off.
You may turn the AdMob advertisements on or off. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want the ads scrolling across the top of their remote so this is really just a reminder for you to shut it off so it will not interfere with you using and enjoying the remote.
You may select any device to control the master volume.
And, you may turn the “Swipe Volume” option on or off. Swipe Volume is a unique feature of the i-Got-Control IRB1 and is a very clever way to show off the amazing touchscreen capability of the Apple products. Swipe volume does exactly what the name implies. When you are in any device screen you may just slide your finger from top to bottom or bottom to top of your iPod screen to lower or raise the volume. This is very natural and allows you to free up two device buttons on each page for other commands!

i-Got-Control IRB1 is an excellent remote control accessory for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and since it may be easily programmed in just three simple steps it’s an excellent choice for anyone who plans on using it at home and on the road. The IRB1 is available now at shop.remoteshoppe.com.