Comcast app turns Apple devices into remote controls
Comcast launched the Xfinity TV app on Monday, which lends iPads, iPhones and iPod touches (with iOS 3.2 or later) the power of a remote control and TV guide.
The browsing and search functions do much of what a traditional remote can do: You can browse through listings, choose a show and watch it on your TV. You can also change the channel and sort through content based on genre or keyword. If you're busy, the app also lets you program DVRs to record shows and movies.
It may just sound like a snazzier version of a remote control now, but Comcast is promising some added features to amp up the appeal. Soon, updates to the app will allow users to share what they're watching through access to social networking sites. Other promised add-ons include the ability to stream video content directly on your Apple gadget (coming in December) and enhanced search functions (coming soon).
The TV app is available for free in the iTunes app store, but only works if you are a Comcast cable subscriber or have a compatible cable set-top box. Comcast said it will deliver several Android apps later this year and plans to offer apps with similar remote control functions on the Blackberry and other smartphones.
-- Shan Li
Photo: TV listings shown using Xfinity TV app. Credit: Apple iTunes store