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A Closer Look: Peel Smart Remote on the HTC One M9

April 1, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Yesterday, we reported that HTC had dropped their Sense TV app in favor of Peel’s Smart Remote app. So now we have Peel installed on the HTC One M9 instead of Sense TV. Which is cool and all, but what exactly can Peel do? Lots of cool things, actually. Obviously, the HTC One M9 has an IR blaster built into the device, that’s why it can act as a remote for your TV. But Peel does way more than that.

Peel Smart Remote acts as a remote as well as TV Guide for you, all in one app. If you open up the Peel Smart Remote App, you’ll see all kinds of content that’s currently on Live TV. From TV Shows, to Movies, and Sports. There’s even a Top Picks section. You can also skip to another time of the day and see what will be on later on. If you find a show you want to watch right now, just tap on the show with your HTC One M9 pointed at the TV and it’ll switch over to that channel. Which then cuts out the need for finding out what channel it’s on, and then switching to that channel.

You can also search for TV shows. In the slideout menu, you can search from right there. For instance, I searched for The Big Bang Theory, It’ll tell me what time it’s on TV, which is Thursday from 8-8:30pm on CBS (local station is WWJ channel 15). You are also able to set a reminder so you won’t forget, or even record the show, if you have paired Peel with your cable box. It will also show the synopsis of the show, and a thumbs up rating. Finally, you can share the show, if you really wanted to. That uses Android’s share menu, so you can share it virtually anywhere.

Finally, in the upper right-hand corner of the app, you’ll see an icon that looks like a remote. That is the remote. There you will see a power button, volume and channel rockers, mute, number pad pop up, as well as input. If you swipe over, you’ll see even more buttons. At the top of the first screen, you can also switch TV’s. So if you have one TV in the living room and another in the bedroom, you can use your HTC One M9 to control both of them. Which is actually a really cool thing to do. Peel will also put the remote in your notification shade. So you can change the channel, volume, or even turn off the TV without opening the app again. It’s really convenient.