The high tech universal remotes you bought your parents for the last few holiday seasons are out. Turning your phone into a universal remote is the future. And why not? It's always with you. It connects with Bluetooth to many devices already. Add the TV and gaming systems and suddenly lots of remote problems are solved. That's where Blumoo comes in.
The Blumoo is easy to set up. Start by downloading the app for ios or Android. Then, you plug it in, connect it to your primary video and audio device in your entertainment setup (for most people, this is the TV) and then add other devices that are connected through it or Bluetooth enabled devices.
One strange downside I didn't expect: the first thing the app asks you to set up is a cable or dish connection. I don't have cable (I haven't for years) and I think many people that have enough tech to need this thing probably have or are thinking about eschewing cable in favor of other options. There's no option to skip cable altogether, so you just have to lie.
From there, setting up the TV is simple. You pick a manufacturer and a model and it turns the TV on to confirm connection. Adding more devices is not nearly as automated, however. This was where Blumoo went from being the "every person can do this universal remote" I really wanted it to be to the "I need tech support" remote. Adding devices required me to figure out the menu, which isn't intuitive at all. Instead of hiding in Settings, which seems logical, it's hiding near the Home button in a section of the screen that looks like a design element more than a Menu. And on the iPhone 6, it requires serious dexterity to get the darned thing to even pull up.
Once you do manage to open this menu, it walks you through the process fairly seamlessly. And it gets bonus points for allowing you to add Custom Devices, like game systems. Another really awesome feature is the ability to add Streaming Devices, like a Roku Box. I only wish Google Chromecast was on the list — effectively making it possible for me to create a Universal Remote for all these darned streaming apps. This would be a brilliant thing for them to add in the future.
Ultimately though, the Blumoo is on its way to being a truly awesome solution for people who have lots of entertainment in the form of music, movies, TV, streaming and games. With a few small design changes on the app, the Blumoo could become something I'd gift my whole family.
Pros: The small, unobtrusive stature of the device is super smart. The system is easy to setup and the app is straight-forward for initial setup.
Cons: Integrates cable as a primary priority and the app has some quirky design issues that should be resolved.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.