Apps News

Peel works as universal remote and TV service on your iPhone

I sure thought we’d covered Peel here before, but I guess not (maybe I was thinking of that iPod touch add-on — the “Apple” name certainly invites lots of fruit imagery). Either way, it’s worth mentioning that the interesting Peel TV solution for the iPhone is now available for purchase. For $99, you get the Peel “fruit” unit that sits wirelessly by your television and transmits to it with infrared. And then you can also download the free app that both works as a universal remote, and watches what you watch, providing recommendations based on what you pull up, and allowing you to connect to friends to share channels and information.
The whole thing seems pretty intriguing — RedEye has done pretty well with using the iPhone as an IR remote, and adding an extra layer of social and recommendation to that seems like an excellent idea (assuming the interface is usable). RedEye’s mini solution is a little cheaper, at $49, but that’s really only the remote function, not any of the extras you’d get with Peel.
We’ll have to see how this works — certainly it seems like lots of accessory makers are starting to tap into smartphones, both at home and in places like your car. Something like Peel, done intuitively and right, could provide just enough functionality over your standard TV remotes to finally clean the gadgets off that coffee table for good.
Peel is sponsoring a TechCrunch/CrunchGear/TUAW meetup at SXSW next Monday, so we’ll have a chance to try it hands-on. If you’re in Austin you can learn more about the meetup here.