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REVIEW: Bluetooth Remote Control for Smartphone Version 0.4.0
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 27.02.05 - 16:46:25 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 25149x
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Bluetooth Remote Control for Smartphone is a remote control utility for Windows Mobile Smartphones which was recently released in Beta version 0.4.0.
It allows to control applications like Winamp, Windows Mixer, Windows Media Player and PowerPoint remotely using the native Bluetooth protocol of Bluetooth enabled Windows Mobile Smartphones and Windows PCs without bonding both through ActiveSync first.

To run Bluetooth Remote Control, you need:

  • Windows XP including Service Pack 2
  • Bluetooth enabled Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003 or 2003 Second Edition
  • Bluetooth equipped Notebook or Desktop PC using the Windows XP SP2 Bluetooth stack (other Bluetooth stacks aren't supported yet).

Bluetooth Remote Control includes two components:

  • Desktop server which interacts with Winamp, Windows Media Player or PowerPoint on one side and communicates with the Smartphones through Bluetooth on the other side.
  • Windows Mobile Smartphone application which interacts with the Desktop server and which is the MMI interface to remote control the selected application.

Right now, the Desktop installer does not provide an automatic installation for the Smartphone client which have to be installed by hand after the server software was installed on the PC.

After launching both, the PC server and the Smartphone client, the Smartphone tries to detect the PC. After successful pairing (which is done without any security mechanism), both applications talks to each other and you can immediately use Bluetooth Remote Control. It offers several options per application which basically gives you all you need to control your music or presentations:

On your Smartphone, for Windows Media and Winamp it shows you your current playing song:

as well as the title of your current presenting slide plus the title of the next slide:

Bluetooth Remote Control doesn't launches any applications but you have to start it on your PC first. However, after the applications you want to use are launched, you can switch between the running application by pressing the [*]-key on your Smartphone.

Final Conclusion

Bluetooth Remote Control is a pretty cool tool for several reasons: it doesn't requires ActiveSync, it offers you most of the features you might expect and it's simply cool to remote control your music from the couch or to walk around the room while you are doing a presentation.

However, for future version I would like to see Apple iTunes support, playlist handling, the option to disable applications you don't use (or at least to show running applications only) and the possibility to launch applications remotely.

Nevertheless, it's another great proof of concept (and it's working pretty well already - even in its early version number) to demonstrate what Smartphones can do for you. Okay - on the other hand I have to admit, that this is nothing really new for Apple MAC/SonyEricsson phone users where a similar application is available which even mutes the music if you get a call as well as it shows the name (if in your contact) or at least the the phone number of the caller on the MAC screen. But maybe this is something Jerome (the developer of the application) wants to consider to include into future releases?
Oh yes, last but not least a Bluetooth enabled Media Center Edition support would be cool... ;-)

Cheers ~ Arne

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