The Palm Pre feels at times like the Jan Brady of the mobile world — lacking the Marsha-ish confidence and good looks of the iPhone, or the Cindy-like next-big-thing appeal of the Droid. Thus, no one pays it much attention or takes it terribly seriously. But that just means fans of the device gotta do for themselves, as in the case of Pre user Alexander Slansky, who created an app that turns your Palm OS device into a Boxee remote.
I was only able to use the Pre remote with my laptop, as I don’t currently have a TV hooked up to the software, but installing the app and getting it working didn’t take more than five minutes, and while some small beta-version bugs do exist, overall the app is pretty smooth.
The major catches seem to be that you have to have the WiFi on your phone enabled (which I find to be a big battery drain), and the UI design isn’t extremely intuitive — for example, the controls for play/pause/back/forward are hidden on the main screen in favor of the volume control, when both are essential pieces of functionality.
But now I have a remote for my computer without having to shell out twenty bucks for one of Apple’s flimsy-feeling clickers — and thus the important thing is this: I’ll be able to control my media remotely the next time I put my laptop on top of the toilet seat to watch TV while taking a bath (don’t judge if you haven’t tried it — because it’s awesome).
Boxee released a remote app for the iPhone/iPod Touch last year, and according to VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen via email, there is also a desktop control widget and a web-based remote that works on the Nokia N900. So far, there’s no remote yet for Android mobile devices, but “someone in the community” is working on it.
When asked if Boxee would be creating any new apps itself in the foreseeable future, Kippen replied, “While we may look at retooling our apps as we add new features, in the short-term we’ve seen the community respond (and respond well) to these needs, which allows us to focus on making great software to use the remote with.”
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