Remote Harmony

Logitech is a cool company. It took all of the top aspects of its best-selling universal remote control and made it so that you could control your TV, set-top boxes, music systems, and other home gear on your iPhone or iPad. My kinda thing.

The Logitech Harmony Link ($100; logitech.com) is a sleek black shiny disc that’s a little bigger than a hockey puck, and it connects to your home Wi-Fi network. I initially took a Harmony Link test drive with my iPhone, and while it worked great, I wasn’t sure that I really needed it. But when I moved to my iPad, I saw the real value. The screen is much bigger, providing a prime window on a treasure trove of information. When you come across something you like, tap on it, and it’s put in the main window with a lengthier description. If you want to watch it, tap again, and you’re taken to that channel. Shows are broken down into categories like Children’s, Movies, Sports, and News. I love seeing all the movies that are available to me at any given moment with their accompanying pictures right there. That’s so much better than the annoying ho-hum guide provided by the cable company.

You can also switch between activities fairly easily. I went from “Watch TV” to “Watch Apple TV” in one touch — and I didn’t have to dig around for my tiny Apple TV remote. I was able to create custom activities. For example, I have security cameras at my home connected to my TV. One touch on my iPad, and my cameras are up and in view. Another tap, and I was back to watching TV. I can even put the Link on multiple devices and customize them so my son’s iPhone will have different favorites than mine. And I was able to check how my fantasy football teams were doing all Sunday long. (I’m in three leagues!) It was all linked on the iPad, and that’s totally harmonious in my book.

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