Peel Smart Remote app
In order to connect with Pronto, you’ll need to download the Peel app through the App Store. It’s a free download, but more importantly, it provides us control to all of our home entertainment devices. Now, the setup of the Peel Smart Remote app might be familiar to some people, seeing that it’s pretty much the same app experience found over on the Android side that certain phones use to operate their IR blaster feature.
The initial setup is a breeze, one that asks us who is our cable provider and the various devices we use (television sets, cable boxes, and much more). Once everything is complete, we can access the “watch TV” remote to simplify things by combining the various remotes into a single one to control out TV watching experience. Essentially, it combines the cable box and television remotes, so that its sends the necessary commands to the appropriate devices. If you happen to prefer using each of the dedicated remotes, you can do that as well, but that means having to constantly switch between them.
In addition, the app offers customized viewing recommendations that aggregate relevant content – such as our favorite channels and a live TV guide. Although it’s not as elaborate in terms of what it can do, the app takes out the burden of having to rely on your cable box’s TV guide experience, which for some, can be a nightmare due to their sluggish performances. Even though the various remotes offer all the pertinent functions, like adjusting the volume or changing the channels, it doesn’t necessarily replicate all of the buttons you might find on your actual, physical remote.
Relying on good old Bluetooth Smart connectivity, our iPhone 6 Plus is able to automatically pair the moment it’s within range – 25 feet maximum in our experience. Aside from that, there’s also the IR blaster that rounds out its connectivity set. As we’ve detailed, Pronto needs to be pointed in the direction of your home entertainment system, since it requires that line of sight to send signals. From what we’ve experienced, it’s pretty quick in sending those commands from our iPhone, to Pronto, and finally to the intended device.
Combining the 4 AA batteries powering Pronto and its Bluetooth Smart connection, it’s able to yield a maximum battery life of approximately 1 year – so claims the manufacturer. That’s certainly comforting, seeing that you’re not going to have to replace batteries frequently, nor does it require nightly charges if it were rechargeable.
Unless you’ve already invested in a sweet universal remote of some kind, it’s a little tough to justify the need to pick up Pronto. At $49.99, it seems innocuous enough to pick up for those who are frustrated with having to constantly juggle between remotes. Using Pronto eliminates the hassles that come with all of that, naturally, but you’ll need to be mindful about it requiring that line of sight to send commands.
It’s really straightforward in what it does, so you’ll have to convince yourself whether or not it’s something worth investing in. For us, it’s honestly a tough call because it’s a feature that’s nice to have with the iPhone, but it’s not a diehard thing.