Xiaomi is among the very few OEMs in the Indian smartphone market that continues to include an IR blaster on all its smartphones that it sells in the country. When paired with the right app, an IR blaster is an incredible feature to have on a smartphone since it allows you to easily control electronic appliances around you.
Essentially, you can control any home appliance that features a remote straight from your smartphone. All major Xiaomi handsets launched in India in the last 2 years — the Redmi Note 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 4, and the Mi 5 — feature an IR blaster. Even better, Xiaomi has paired the infrared blaster with its handy Mi Remote app which the company updates periodically to add support for new devices.
The Mi Remote app makes it incredibly easy to use your Xiaomi device to control home appliances around you. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the Mi Remote app on your Xiaomi device featuring an IR blaster. If you are using the stock launcher, the app is located inside the Tools folder. Do make sure that your device is connected to the internet during the setup process since the app will download the database of compatible apps as you move forward.
Step 2: Tap the Add remote option and select the category of the device that you would like to add.
Step 3: Once you have selected the appropriate category, select the manufacturer and finally the model of the device.
Step 4: You will then be prompted to point the phone towards the device (AC in my case) and press the on-screen button. Keep the button pressed until your device responds as the app will automatically cycle through the various IR codes. As a form of feedback, your phone will vibrate slightly when it sends a command over the IR blaster. Once the device in question responds, make sure to leave the on-screen button.
Step 5: Press Yes under the ‘Does the device respond’ question. You will then again have to point your phone towards the device and press an on-screen button. Release the button once the device responds. Confirm your selection by pressing Yes again.
Step 6: Finally, you can now enter a name for the device and add a shortcut to quickly control it from your home screen. Depending on the remote of the device that you have added, all the options to control it will be displayed on-screen. If not, additional functions will be hidden under the ‘More functions’ option, though, the most common ones will already be available on-screen.
What makes the Mi Remote app even better is that it can prioritise the list of remotes added to it depending on your location. So, if you are in your home, the list will automatically arrange itself to list those devices first that are in your home. This happens automatically without any user intervention or any additional input.
Additionally, you can also set Mi Remote to automatically display the remote for a particular (or multiple) device on your lock screen when you are at your home, office, or any other pre-specified location. This way, you can quickly control the device from the lock screen of your handset.