What Remotes Are Compatible With a MacBook?
By John Ruiz
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.
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.
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.
- Apple Store: Apple Remote
- Apple Store: Does MacBook Pro With Retina Display Support IR Remote?
- Twisted Melon: Mira Enables the Apple Remote for Any Mac
- Targus: Bluetooth Presenter for Mac
- Satechi: Satechi Bluetooth Multi-Media Remote Control for iPhone, iPad & All Bluetooth OS Devices
- Apple Apps: Remote
- Mashable: 5 Best iPhone Apps for Controlling Your Mac or PC
- Android Appstorm: Android and Your PC / Mac: 26 Tools for Remote Control and Access
John Ruiz began his writing career in 2008 as a freelancer writing for eHow and various technology, software and hardware blogs. He has been designing websites since 2002. Ruiz earned a Bachelor of Science in information technology and web design from AMA Computer University.