The official XBMC android remote control

I downloaded the official Android XBMC remote a little while after using another android remote control for quite a while.

When I first saw it I thought whats so special about this remote which makes it the official xbmc remote?

Well that was before one day I was watching Breaking Bad catching up with the seasons and my phone rang but not only that the show paused and a little xbmc popup came up saying exactly who was ringing with a little icon. I was so shocked I actually missed the call. This was followed with a text message from my voicemail service saying I had a new message. It was so seamless and I had no idea the android remote had this built in, so I looked through the settings and found these interesting options.

  • Statusbar notification
  • Show incoming SMS
  • Show incoming calls

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the check list for features is something out of a dream. Here’s a couple of the most interesting ones.

  • Control XBMC’s volume directly with your device’s volume buttons
  • Manage multiple XBMC instances
  • On incoming call, display who’s calling on TV screen and pause video until call is over
  • On incoming message, display on TV screen
  • Setting that prevents your phone locking the screen. You can apply it either for remote control only or all screens (or disable it completely)
  • Cover art is shown where available
  • Play and queue albums, songs, genre selections and much more directly without having to turn on your TV. For instance it’s possible to queue/play all songs from an artist but of a certain genre.
  • Displays movie poster and actor thumbs where available.
  • Play trailer from details page where available.
  • Coming soon theres also some more really interesting features…
  • Boxee compatibility
  • Download media locally to device’s SD card
  • Stream media to device
  • Rating support in Now playing
  • Last.FM integration

All this functionality has really made me give up the wii-mote as the preferred method of controlling XBMC. I’d suggest a couple more things like trans-coding (so you can take away a copy which isn’t multiple gigabytes), send to xbmc (bit like send to xbmc or xbmcfox), a locale plug-in (might be handy), a proximity sensor option (if you walk out the room for example it will pause or even stop after a while xbmc) and the ability to see additional media or even fansubs on the device its self.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.