Early this year in January we attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and saw some amazing and innovative technology being showcased. We talked with dozens of exhibitors in our time spent at CES but one of the many booths in the iLounge stood out. That booth? SURC by Mashed Pixel. They had designed the ultimate solution to the most common problem in households; how do I combine all my remotes into one without buying another remote. The fix, a case designed to cover your iPhone4/S which, when the SURC application is launched, can control your Infra-red devices buy syncing your controls of the current devices onto the screen of the iPhone.

We were contacted by SURC earlier last month and they asked us to try their product. While we love to review products from a developers view point, we knew that a good review of SURC would come from its targeted consumer base. That consumer base is somebody who has way too many electronic devices and not enough hands to manage all of the remotes. We just so happen to know one of those people and we gave SURC to him to give it a try for a month and afterwards let us know how his experience was. With no instructions just a link to some how to’s look below to read about his experience with SURC.

Simple, Simple, Simple.
That is the easiest way to describe the SURC universal learning remote control (URC) for the iPhone4.
Step one; install the ‘free’ SURC app from the App Store.
Setp two; snap on the SURC case for your iPhone4.
You’re now ready to use your remote control for just about any device in your home.  I was literally using my iPhone4 to control my TV in minutes.The remotes are categorized in the application by ‘rooms’ which you create and customize to correspond to the rooms in your house, cottage, trailer, etc. The installed device list is extensive and therefore finding an electronic device in the database is easy and quick.  The pre-set code lists are also very accurate.Probably the best feature of the SURC universal remote app is the ability to customize the remote control buttons.  You can do just about anything.  I moved the buttons around to match that of my actual remote as I found them easier to find.  You can even add and remove buttons.  I found this extremely useful as I could make the remote as simple as I wanted.  For example for one of the TV’s in my house I only want the power button and volume.The remote functionality is truly universal as the ‘pairing’ feature allows you to program specific buttons that may not be part of the ‘code set’ for that remote.The ‘gesture’ function is also handy as you can program gestures such as taps and finger swipes to operate specific buttons.The SURC app takes the help feature to a whole new level.  If you’re looking for help with one of the functions the app has links to a series of YouTube tutorials which are quick and easy.  Daphna and Buffy do a great job showing off the features of the app from adding rooms to pairing buttons and many, many features in between.I found it very difficult to find anything to criticize about this app as the ability to customize is extensive and allows the freedom to alter just about anything.  And best of all, the app just plain works!

Even the case required to run the SURC app is stylish and sleek.  I am not one to have a bulky case for my phone as I like to slip in and out of my pocket.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the case was small and thin.  The case does add a ‘minimal’ amount of length to your phone (approx. 9mm).  The usb adaptor is also changed from the typical iphone connector to a mini usb adaptor, however, a new cord is supplied with the case.  I found no change in how the iPhone4 operates with the new adaptor.

If you thought your iPhone4 was cool before, wait until you get the SURC universal remote control!

With an outstanding review such as this, how can anyone not be excited about getting a device that minimizes clutter and gives you more time doing what you love.  This came from a regular user who is moderately tech savvy and with the help of the YouTube videos mentioned he was up and running in no time.  This is the perfect storm, a combination of an easy to use application that is intuitive and great hardware to complement the application, and make your device look slick.  We might have to go out and buy ourselves one after hearing a review this glowing. Until the next review, Happy Hacking
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