Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s a sign of the times. Maybe all that glitters really isn’t gold. My gee whiz moments are in decline. Compared to 10 years ago, our Macs and iPhones must look like magic.
Today, that magic is more commonplace, occasionally mundane, often not worth a raised eyebrow. Imagine my giddy, girlish, giggle when I tried out Remote Buddy. The thrill is back, baby! Now, if I could just figure out whether or not this is a solution looking for a problem.
First, the good news. Remote Buddy is a Mac utility which lets your control anything on your Mac. Big whoop, right? You mouse and keyboard do that. Add a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and you’re in remote control.
Alright, so the remote of a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard is not all that remote. But your iPhone, iPod touch, Apple Remote, even a Wii Remote is at least interim remote (as in, across the room).
Second, the bad news. Remote Buddy controls almost everything on your Mac, not just your iTunes library. Apps, utilities, music, movies, internet access, power on and off, even use the keyboard and mouse by waving your iPhone around.
That’s bad news? Nah, but I’m into journalistic balance these days. That and recycling glass and plastic.
Remote Buddy is remarkable and brings a little of that good old Mac gee whiz back to your lips. Almost. Simplicity, for example.
There’s a single menu on your Mac that controls everything, including access to over 100 of your basic and popular Mac apps and utilities (and games). That makes it easy to use Remote Buddy.
Yes, it can be a bit complex because it does so much, but remember, it’s really a magical solution looking for a problem.
Using your iPhone in your hand and your Mac over there at the other end of the room someplace, you can access and control iTunes and play whatever is inside.
If you’re into EyeTV, the only real digital video recorder for the Mac, then your iPhone becomes the remote which controls what you watch, record, delete, etc. Yes, there’s that pesky little problem of watching TV on your Mac’s little screen while the Mac is way over there, but this is magic.
Remote Buddy can control your Mac’s mouse movements which is pretty cool by itself because, if you’re using Remote Buddy as, you know, a remote, and your Mac is over there, then you amy not see the mouse moving.
Magic has limitations. Presentations emanating from your Mac to a video projector will make your iPhone seem like a very expensive magic wand, but without the wand part. There’s a nifty Mousespot feature which highlights slide shows in Keynote.
Trying ever so hard to exceed the 100 feature limitation imposed upon Mac utilities by the Wizards of Cupertino™, Remote Buddy blows through the ceiling with the capability to control over 100 supported Mac apps and utilities. If that’s not enough, the Behaviors plugin has a little Construction Kit to build your own.
All this means is that your iPhone or iPod touch or those other aforementioned handheld gizmos can be waved in the air, simulating direct, wireless control over your Mac’s apps, utilities, and games.
Wait! There’s more. Remote Buddy does fullscreen control of CoverFlow for when you want to show off your Mac’s eye candy to unsuspecting little children and Windows users. Remotely.
Wave your handheld and Remote Buddy magically switches control of your Mac’s speakers to another output device or Airport Express.
Your iPhone and iPod touch do gestures, and so does Remote Buddy—perfect for waving your hand like a technological demigod, or to impress the neighbors with your wizardry of wireless technology.
Alright, remote control of your Mac while doing onscreen presentations using a video projector is way cool. And necessary for business song and dance, and dog and pony. If your Mac is hooked up to a big screen TV, way cool again.
Remotely controlling my Mac so it controls, remotely, my AppleTV, so it controls what’s on my big screen TV seems like a pretty indirect and somewhat expensive route to get entertained. I don’t get the math.
Even without bothering to figure out the math—and figure out why you really need this magical piece of software—the gee whiz factor is high with Remote Buddy. Like the Wii, it’s more fun to use than it looks while viewing the web page.
If you’re into eye candy, into gadgets, love your Mac and iPhone or iPod touch (or Apple Remote or Wii Remote), you will enjoy using them as Remote Buddy remote controls for your Mac. Beyond presentations, beyond the novelty, let me know when you figure out the problem the solution is solving.