How to Turn Your Android Smartphone Into a Remote Control

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Once you come home tired from work, all you want to do is sit back, relax, and watch TV. That, however, doesn't always make you feel relaxed. Instead, sometimes, all you find on TV are those same boring reality shows, which tend to irritate you more than ever. Then, while bored, you scan around the room and your tired eyes see a computer lying around the corner. Suddenly, you remember the amazing movie collection that is still unwatched. Oh, and there are those episodes of "Game of Thrones" as well. "Wow, how come I never watched that stuff," you say to yourself. But you are too tired to get up and wished that you had a special remote control for your PC.

If, right now, you're lying there supine on your couch flipping through the boring TV channels hoping for a better alternative, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll cover some of the best apps that let you convert your smartphone into a remote control for your desktop or laptop computer. These apps work on Android and most of them don't require any special equipment to get started.

YouTube Remote

YouTube remote lets you control YouTube using your Android device. Once you pair your smartphone with YouTube, you can search a video from your device and then watch it on the bigger screen. What's interesting is that the app ties up with your account so that you can access your previous playlists and watch them anytime you want.

Media Remote for Android

This application lets you control selected Sony devices from your Android smartphone. Once installed, you'll be able to switch channels, adjust volume, access settings, and do pretty much everything that your remote lets you do. There is also an interesting feature called Catch and Throw that lets you send and/or receive URLs between your phone and your TV or laptop. The app is known to work with most Internet-enabled BRAVIA TVs and Sony VAIO computers as well, but unfortunately, it doesn't work with PS3 systems.

Remote Control Collection

This app brings along a compilation of remote control that you can use to control your PC wirelessly. You can use them to control almost all major aspects of your computer right from mouse to media player. One interesting feature about this application is that it lets you use your smartphone as a touchpad device. So, if you're too lazy to reach out for the mouse but still want to control your computer, this application will come in handy. 

Unified Remote

This application, though compatible with Windows only, lets you control almost all of your desktop functions with your phone. With support for applications ranging from VLC to Firefox, Unified Remote makes it easier for you to do menial tasks on the desktop with relative ease. 

Remote for VLC

The application, as the name suggests, lets you control VLC from your smartphone. Once paired with your desktop, you'll be able to browse through your VLC library, change tracks, and access the DVD menus as well. Overall, this is a great application for VLC lovers.

Ubuntu Remote Control

This application lets you control your Ubuntu desktop with your computer. Despite the fact that installing this application and getting it paired with the desktop is a rather tedious task, Ubuntu Remote Control does succeed at giving you some of the main functionalities you need from a remote control application. For example, you can unlock the screen, change the volume, and shutdown or restart the computer as well. 

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.