Able Remote is a must-try app for every Google TV owner – voice command and shortcuts on a phone [App Reviews]
December 20, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Evaluated version: 1.0
Pros: Voice commands, link sharing, and Caller ID/SMS displayed on-screen
Cons: There are navigation problems within the Netflix app and video streaming on ICS
The long-delayed update to Google TV was frustrating particularly because it kept users from accessing Android apps on their television. Able Remote, a combination Android app and Google TV app that work in concert together, is precisely the kind of thing that users would have loved to be using several months ago.
Able Remote is a third-option remote for Google TV owners. It has many of the features found in the standard Google TV and Logitech remote applications, including the ability to search, control playback, and navigate through menus. And, to be perfectly honest, the design of the app is not as welcoming as the official remote apps. So why should anyone use Able Remote? Because it has a couple of impressive features that might make users overlook the other options.
The goal of Google TV is to make it easy to search for programming, but it’s not always easy to do that. Able Remote offers the opportunity to search using voice commands. By pressing the microphone button, a user can say “Channel Bravo” and the remote will then tune to Bravo. Able also supports search commands for finding TV shows (“Search Real Housewives”) or launching a particular application (“App Netflix”). For someone with a large channel selection that’s difficult to remember, that can be rather helpful – especially if you don’t want to rely on the larger Logitech keyboard.
Able Remote is based on the official Google TV remote app, so users get all of the standards features plus a few extras. That means you can do standard navigation of Chrome, YouTube, and live television, but also share media from your phone. If you see a funny YouTube video, have a photo or video that you recorded on a phone, or want to bring up a website on TV, just press Menu > Share > Able Remote from whatever phone or tablet app you’re in at the time.
Both the Android application and Google TV app must be installed in order for Able Remote to work, and both are completely free. You may not decide to make this your Google TV remote app full-time, but anyone with a Logitech Revue or Sony Internet TV should at least give it a shot.
- Caller ID and notifications for incoming SMS messages appear on screen
- Control your Google TV, DVR, and Blu-Ray player with one app
- Share photos, videos, and links from an Android device to Google TV
- Use voice commands to launch apps, change channels, and perform searches