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Blumoo review: Control all your home entertainment gear from one app

Susie Ochs | May 28, 2014
With a few app updates and a syncing feature, Blumoo will be indispensible.

The Music tab gives you shortcuts to your music apps, so you can stream audio from them to whatever stereo your Blumoo is connected to. If the app doesn't make the connection for you, you might have to go to your phone's Bluetooth settings and pair separately with an item called Blumoo Audio. (An error message will let you know if you need to do that pairing yourself.) I was already streaming music to my stereo over AirPlay, by connecting an optical cable from the Apple TV to the receiver. So being able to stream music to the Blumoo with Bluetooth didn't blow my mind as much as the universal-remote features did, but it's nice to know I can still stream if my Wi-Fi goes out.

A few shortcomings
While it works just fine, the Blumoo app could use some polish. For starters, it needs resizable buttons. The "normal" size buttons are still pretty small, so the targets are a little tricky to tap, and there's a lot of wasted space between them on some screens, the Home screen especially.

The hamburger button in the top-left corner, which displays the options for each screen, is difficult to tap reliably on my iPhone 5's screen, usually requiring a few tries. The options screens slide out with little animations, but overall the app's look and feel are pretty dated.

Still, it gets the job done well enough that I find myself staying in the Blumoo app to control my Apple TV and Roku box, instead of switching to the dedicated apps I already have to control those boxes over Wi-Fi.

Bottom line
I experimented with just using the Blumoo app instead of any of my old remotes, and it was not only possible, it was better. With a little fiddling to get macros set up and adjusted, I'm able to perform what used to be three-remote dances with just one tap. With a few app updates and a syncing feature, Blumoo will be indispensible.

 

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