If you can’t find your remote Android TV or Google TVIf you don’t like using its voice control feature, get sick of using the directional pad to type, or can’t get it to work at all, use your smartphone instead. Using your iPhone or Android phone as a virtual remote control can be more convenient, easier to use, and more useful than the original remote control, so it’s definitely worth a try.
Google launched Google TV in 2010 as its first take on a smart TV platform. When it failed to take off for various reasons, Google switched to Android TV in 2014, which has enjoyed more success across smart TVs and set-top boxes.
Now, the Google TV brand is enjoying new life as a revamped interface for Android TV. It also serves as a new name for Google Play Movies & TV, the app that used to be a player for movies and TV shows purchased through Google Play but now mirrors the functionality of the Smart TV interface. This is the app that will turn your iPhone or Android phone into a virtual remote control.
The rebranding of Google Play Movies & TV to Google TV has bundled the functionality of the remote into the Media app. Install or update it at the links below. Note that the previous standalone app, Android TV Remote serviceis still listed on Google Play but is no longer compatible with any devices.
If you open the app for the first time, you will need to perform some setup steps. If you are using an iPhone or using Android 13, you will need to select if you want to receive notifications from the app. Next, you will need to link your Google account. Once you do that, click Continue to continue.
Next, you will have the option to select the streaming services you want the app to collect. You can skip this later, but the app acts as a hub for browsing and playing content in the appropriate app, so you can also limit your subscriptions now.
Finally, you will be prompted to give the app permission to search for a nearby TV by tapping on Allow on the dialog box. This will be crucial in using the app as a remote control.
You will find a dialog explaining the new remote control. Click OK to ignore this, then click the TV Remote button on any of the tabs. If you don’t see it, tap your profile picture, choose “Google TV Settings,” and make sure “Use phone as a remote control” is enabled.
Now, you will need to link it to your Android TV or Google TV device. Once the app detects your TV, tap on its name to select it. Finally, enter the code that appears on the TV and click on “Pair”.
Now, you are all set to use your smartphone as a remote control. Also, Android devices get an added convenience, as a shortcut to the remote can be accessed through the Quick Settings pane.
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