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Remote control function said hidden in iPhone beta firmware

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Code in Apple's latest iPhone 2.0 beta firmware allegedly contains references to a utility that will let an iPhone or iPod touch play media from nearby iTunes sources.

Pointing only to an unnamed person as the source for its leak, TUAW claims that multiple string entries in the cellphone's beta code refer to selecting from different media categories and include mentions of dialog boxes that let users choose their particular source.

The information suggests that the additions are the groundwork for an Apple TV-like feature, purportedly named iControl, that would let users play any iTunes content over a local network with features similarly to the dedicated media hub already on store shelves.

It's unclear as to whether the feature is strictly intended for streaming local content to the iPhone itself or can actively steer other devices, imitating a more advanced home theater remote such as Logitech's Harmony.

However, the listings as they appear would indicate a direct connection to a 2.5-year-old patent filing submitted by Apple in late 2005.

In the filing, the iPhone maker says it has invented a method that would let a portable media player view the contents of a local media server, such as a computer, and send instructions telling the media server to change tracks while it outputs content to a separate media receiver, whether physically attached to the computer (such as speakers) or remote (such as an Airport Express-like connection).

The aim is to let users steer media playback in a networked media system with existing hardware rather than dedicated controllers, Apple engineers state in the earlier patent.

Regardless of its actual purpose of iControl, there are no clues as to when, if at all, the software will be released for the company's handheld devices.
post #2 of 25
It would be nice if Apple released a 'universal remote' of sorts as a software update for the iPhone and Touch.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 25
Sounds great. I'd love to be able to control my Apple TV media and Airport Express audio using my iPhone. I had a Logitech Harmony 1000 which worked well, but smashed last week. Controlling the devices over WiFi would be great for multi room control too.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

Sounds great. I'd love to be able to control my Apple TV media and Airport Express audio using my iPhone. I had a Logitech Harmony 1000 which worked well, but smashed last week. Controlling the devices over WiFi would be great for multi room control too.

It's an obvious way to go, as is copy and paste. In other words, it probably won't happen
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 25
This isn't that interesting unless the hardware had infrared.
post #6 of 25
I hope this is true, I wrote an article last year asking for exactly this feature.

http://themacjedi.com/files/2007-09-...n-apple-tv.php
post #7 of 25
Well, you can turn your iPod into a remote using Griffin's IR converter:

http://features.engadget.com/2004/07...emote-control/

Even off-brand low tech companies can make "learning" remotes that will work with virtually any device and brand. Surely someone out there recognizes the value of a universal, learning remote with a customizable, touch screen interface in an iPod/iPhone form factor. Price it at $199 and I'll buy one in addition to my iPhone. Heck, it would probably sell more units than the iPhone ever could, it would be the #1 Xmas gift for Dad for a decade.
post #8 of 25
I keep thinking that there are all sorts of value added ways that you could combine remote control and interactive programming guide in the iPhone/iPod touch environment.

Specifically, (from my post), 'iPod touch: the first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform?':

About 15 years ago, Interactive Network was service that allowed you to participate in an interactive fashion with TV game shows and sporting events. Unfortunately, it was pretty limited and required that a special hardware box with a dedicated phone line be connected to your TV. Plus, no one knew what the hell interactivity meant since the Web was still pretty nascent, so it failed. But with an iPod touch, an interactive TV programming guide application becomes possible that allows you to systematically interact with your favorite TV programs (think: sports, game shows, finance, reality TV, etc.) and connect with others who are watching the same program - in real time.

In any event, it seems beyond the universal remote goodness that there are applications for such content-aligned services (listen to the same music show with virtual friends, watch DVDs and apend them with smart/social bookmarks that others can pull up when they watch the same movie, be virtual DJ for an audience of like minds, etc.).

Here is the full post if interested:

URL: http://thenetworkgarden.com/weblog/2...touch-the.html

Cheers,

Mark
post #9 of 25
This is such an obvious necessity in the home entertainment industry - I can't believe no one has come up with an acceptable solution before, especially Apple. I paid $600 for two Squeezeboxes - one for my mom, one for myself- and while it works well enough for me, she can't see the text on the display from across the room. What she really needs is an iPod Touch with the elegant Mac interface, with which she can browse her extensive music collection and play it over the stereo. It's really that simple.

And this Apple Remote (if I may coin a phrase) is the solution. I hope Apple realizes what a gold mine this is - I'd buy one for my mom, another for myself, one for my in-laws, and then everybody who saw our setups would have to have one, too. I hope it arrives sooner than later.

Apple, don't miss the boat on this one!

Where do I sign?
post #10 of 25
I think this may work for you... sailing clicker
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

This isn't that interesting unless the hardware had infrared.

Apple expects you to control your iTunes and AppleTV. The WiFi is great for that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thefferon View Post

This is such an obvious necessity in the home entertainment industry - I can't believe no one has come up with an acceptable solution before, especially Apple.

This does exist already as an ingenious web app.
IOSpirit's Remote Buddy I think Apple will release AppleTV, iTunes, Mobile OS X, and perhaps other app support for this for free. It's one of those things Apple exceeds at and it helps grow the product ecosystem. Because of that I think Apple will include it for free.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple expects you to control your iTunes and AppleTV. The WiFi is great for that.

Right, but a universal remote would be much more compelling. There's nothing wrong with the interface on AppleTV or iTunes. There's a whole lot wrong with the interface on most entertainment appliances.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Right, but a universal remote would be much more compelling. There's nothing wrong with the interface on AppleTV or iTunes. There's a whole lot wrong with the interface on most entertainment appliances.

There are free options, and I don't see any of them happening without some major changes.

1) The iPod IR sensor, but that won't interest most people amd Apple won't add it by default.
2) Add WIFi and Bonjour.to applicances.
3) And BT to applicances.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #14 of 25
I'm pointing at the source of my leak right now.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #15 of 25
Hey, stop being soooo gullible people!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefferon View Post

... I paid $600 for two Squeezeboxes - one for my mom, one for myself- and while it works well enough for me, she can't see the text on the display from across the room. What she really needs is an iPod Touch with the elegant Mac interface, with which she can browse her extensive music collection and play it over the stereo. ...

I recently installed an Apple TV in my mother's living room. At 70+ years, on a 40-inch screen 4 meters away, she can browse her music collection with ease. Thanks to Apple she can use the on screen menu and the remote too without calling me up all the time. I can't say that about her cable box. The Apple TV's got 160GB of storage, her digital photos automatically synced from iPhoto, and now movie rentals too. I highly recommend it if its main function is to give access to stored music, photos and movies.

If this iControl uses Wi-Fi for remote control Apple could really be on to something. IR means too many external factors out of Apple's control. I agree that sitting on a sofa - in another room perhaps - and navigating one's music collection then choosing a device for playback would be music geek heaven.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nacnud View Post

I think this may work for you... sailing clicker

Did it work for you? I recall having some trouble with it requiring killing the app and restarting it every fifteen minutes.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are free options, and I don't see any of them happening without some major changes.

1) The iPod IR sensor, but that won't interest most people amd Apple won't add it by default.
2) Add WIFi and Bonjour.to applicances.
3) And BT to applicances.

Clearly the last two aren't in Apple's control, but I'd say #1 is at least possible. Universal remotes are big business and sell for high prices. If Apple could add IR for 6.2¢, I wouldn't say it's impossible that they'd do it, especially since most Macs have IR now. Unlikely, yeah, but who knows? If you could buy a low-end iPod touch with IR for $100, it would be cheaper than a lot of universal remotes. Make it a wii-type controller for AppleTV games, and all the better.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Did it work for you? I recall having some trouble with it requiring killing the app and restarting it every fifteen minutes.

I don't have any way of testing it at the mo, but been looking for a multiroom audio solution or a while. Simplify Media (itouch iphone) also looks interesting. Waiting until I can find a solution that means buying the least stuff.
post #20 of 25
This would be a great feature which would allow you to save space on your flash-drive so you can just stream your media.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefferon View Post

This is such an obvious necessity in the home entertainment industry - I can't believe no one has come up with an acceptable solution before, especially Apple.


http://www.alloysoft.com/
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmacg4 View Post

http://www.alloysoft.com/

IOSpirit's Remote Buddy is also very nice.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #23 of 25
It seems the the inverse of this makes just as much sense as well. Imagine hosting a party and seeing all of the iPhones and iPod Touches that your friends/guests brought with them browsable within iTunes, allowing a party mix to be constructed from everyones' tunes.

Even more interesting could be a way to allow guests to contribute to the ongoing mix directly from their individual devices. Want to request a song? Even if the DJ doesn't have it? Stream it right from your device into the big pumping speakers for everyone to enjoy (or hate).
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

IOSpirit's Remote Buddy is also very nice.

Yup, it's terrific. I downloaded the new version a day or two ago, and its capabilities are quite impressive.

I had installed it on our iMac, and my wife was on it. I logged in with my iPod touch and started moving the cursor around, opened and closed apps, etc., and she started freaking out. So, with the iMac's isight camera controlled by my iPod, I watched her and took a picture of her as she was freaking out.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Yup, it's terrific. I downloaded the new version a day or two ago, and its capabilities are quite impressive.

I had installed it on our iMac, and my wife was on it. I logged in with my iPod touch and started moving the cursor around, opened and closed apps, etc., and she started freaking out. So, with the iMac's isight camera controlled by my iPod, I watched her and took a picture of her as she was freaking out.

I was not aware it could do all that. That is pretty slick.
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