The UnityRemote isn't the first solution to turn iOS gadgets into remote controls. With plenty of features and a whole host of options for customizations, though, the app-cum-tabletop-device ensemble offers a whole host of wireless automation controls.
Two components make up the system: a black, cylindrical device that you can set on a table and a downloadable app that runs on your iOS handheld. When used together, you can control any IR-equipped electronic gear you have wirelessly right from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Your iOS machine communicates with the 51 x 64 mm cylindrical box (requires 3 AA batteries) over Bluetooth, which then sends the corresponding actions to your home gear over IR. No dongles or docks need to be tethered to your handheld gadget at any point, so it's a lot less cumbersome an implementation than other options available right now.
One of the central features is Actions, which creates macro commands that will execute multiple instructions with a single control. For instance, you can turn on the TV, sound system and BD player with a single tap, all while changing to the right channel and loading the movie at the same time. It's very convenient.
Like any good universal remote, UnityRemote has a load of devices pre-programmed on the accompanying app, apart from having a learning function that lets it into the mind of your more obscure gear. The app supports swipe gestures, too, which should make changing channels and volumes feel a lot more natural for your touch-control-inundated fingers.
It's available now, priced at $99.