What Remotes Are Compatible With a MacBook?

By John Ruiz

You can prevent an Apple TV remote from controlling your Mac laptops and desktops.
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Apple no longer bundles any of their current MacBook models with an Apple Remote, so you have buy one separately if you want to control your iTunes or Keynote applications from afar. Apple does make other wireless peripherals but remote controls work best for executing key commands with one hand. Make sure that you get a remote that actually works with your MacBook; not all remotes support the OS X operating system.

Official Apple Remote

The official Apple Remote works with all MacBook Pro versions that do not have the high-resolution Retina display. If you want to use the official Apple Remote with the newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display models, you will have to buy a separate USB infrared receiver, such as the Manta TR1 by Twisted Melon.

Bluetooth Remotes

All MacBook models still have Bluetooth functionality, opening up compatibility with Bluetooth remotes like the Targus Bluetooth Presenter and Satechi Bluetooth Remote. Unlike the Apple Remote, Bluetooth remotes have broad compatibility with numerous other Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.

IOS Devices

IPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices can serve as remotes for your MacBook as well if the Apple Remote app is installed. This app relies on Wi-Fi, making it possible to control the MacBook from greater distances. The official Apple Remote app only controls iTunes for OS X but there are other third-party iOS apps like HippoRemote Pro and Keymote that offer more features.

Other Mobile Devices

Apple has yet to release any apps for non-iOS mobile platforms but both Google's Play Store and Microsoft's Windows Phone App Store feature some third-party apps like Remote for Windows Phone and Mac Remote for Android that can turn other mobile devices running those operating systems into MacBook remotes.