Years before smartphones were a thing, Nokia was one of the first manufacturers to add IR blasters to its dumbphones. The use case was pretty limited, though, as the cool factor typically ended after the fun of turning TVs off at Circuit City went away.
But IR is getting its second wind in a new wave of smartphones packing the technology, namely, the S4. This time around, the use case is much more tangible, posing a real threat to the traditional TV remote. Powered by Peel, the S4 is more than just a substitute clicker -- it's an intelligent companion that can change the way you surf channels, personalizing your experience based on your (and your friends') interests.
At least, that's the promise. Here's how to set up your S4 as a universal remote that controls your home theater system and gives you personalized recommendations based on your interests.
(And, for the record, you can totally still just about any TV you come across.)
Launching the app
(Credit: Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET) Launch the WatchOn app, which came pre-installed on your S4. Upon opening the app for the first time, you'll be asked to surrender a little information about yourself, like what kinds of shows you like and what sports you're into. The app will even request your name and gender. It's a series of questions t... [Read more]