You Should Buy The New Roku iPhone Remote App

Dave Zatz —  November 3, 2010

We recognize that folks have widely divergent tastes, needs, and budgets. Which is why there are very few products we outright recommend. However, if you own a Roku and an iPhone or iPod Touch you should pick up the updated DVPRemote app. And, if I’m wrong, you’re only out 3 bucks.

While the original DVPRemote was quite useful as a secondary Roku remote, version 2 may very well become your dedicated Roku remote. Assuming, you’re OK with a touchscreen remote. The developer is doing things with the Roku SDK that I don’t even think Roku themselves are doing. For example, instead of scrolling left or right on the television one Channel at a time, with DVPRemote you can freely re-order your Channel lineup and directly select the one you’d like to view merely by tapping it on your iDevice (as shown below right). DVPRemote also does something similar with your Netflix queue, by optionally linking your Netflix account. Not to mention this DVPRemote update features an improved QWERTY keyboard entry (direct versus macro).

But the primary reason that owners of earlier Roku models will want to purchase DVPRemote is access to the new remote buttons and functions that our physical remotes lack – specifically: Instant Replay, Info, and Back. The power of Instant Replay is obvious but that Info key will be more important than you might realize… as once version the 2.8 Roku software update is released, you’ll need it to reorder your channel list.

Here’s the complete breakdown of new and updated DVPRemote features:

  • Support for new “Instant Replay”, “Info”, and “Back” buttons.
  • Integration with Netflix to support automated Instant Queue navigation. DVPRemote provides the list of movies in your instant queue which can be presented in queue order or alphabetical order.  It allows you to select a title from the list by tapping on it or entering a search term to find it and then automatically  navigates to it on your Roku (great for large instant queues).  No more left, left, left, …, or right, right, right, …, to find and select the movie that you want to see!!
  • Full keyboard support for any screen that requires text entry (including symbols and non-english characters). (Search automation from Version 1.5 is no longer needed since text can be directly entered)
  • Improved player discovery speed and accuracy.
  • Improved key repeat.
  • Direct Navigation to Channels through Channel List tab.
  • Toolbars for additional channel functionality where supported (currently only Netflix).
  • Support for iPhone 4 Retina Display.
  • New 12 button remote skin.
  • Tested with iOS 4 (including support for background operation).

6 responses to You Should Buy The New Roku iPhone Remote App

  1. Great review and recommendation for an excellent app, Dave. It was a privilege being a beta tester for the developer and seeing the initial updated app and the incremental improvements as he was getting version 2.0 prepared for release. I am looking forward to this version and looking forward to seeing a future version optimized for the iPad’s size.

  2. Well off topic, but I’ve been enjoying your Contribute Publishing Server saga, Dave…

  3. I’m going to assume that’s the other David Zatz… because it ain’t me! As if we didn’t have enough confusion due to zatz.com, which also isn’t me although the owner (Gerwitz) quite likely came across my surname in his travels on the Macromedia forums. If only I had more foresight in the late 90s – I missed out on buying it by just a few weeks of indecision. (Back then it was $70 for two years to register a domain, wasn’t sure I cared enough to spend it.)

  4. “I’m going to assume that’s the other David Zatz… because it ain’t me!”

    Huh.

    There’s a “David Zatz” who is a regular contributor to the MacInTouch Reader Reports. He writes about tech in a quite sane and informative manner, and I thus arrived at the conclusion that the odds of him and you being the same person approached 100%.

    If there had been a betting market on the issue, I’d have lost the ranch and dog wagering it was you…

  5. I appreciate the sideways endorsement, nonetheless. :) I don’t have enough cycles to even do 1/4th of what I’d like here at ZNF – so there’s no way in hell I’d be writing anywhere else. I think there’s another David Zatz (unless it’s the same one) who has some sort of automotive site. He’s not me either.

  6. Bringing it back on topic, as a user of DVPRemote v1, I was pleased to find out I automatically received the 2.0 update at no cost when I downloaded this week’s round of app updates in iTunes. Yea, Roku!