But in recent days, progress in wireless technology and iPhone hardware has begun to propel the iPhone far beyond just “fun” and into an entirely different class altogether. It’s not enough that the iPhone can sync wirelessly, surf the Internet wirelessly or even charge wirelessly–the future appeal of the iPhone, and most Android phones too for that matter, appears to be in controlling things wirelessly on the Internet of Things. That’s right. Forget to shut the garage door? No problem. Want to preheat your oven? Done. Want to make sure your husband is watching the baby and not the game? Look no further than your trusty iPhone.
So, in celebration and anticipation of a bright future of wireless everything, here is our list of the The 10 Best Things You Can Control with Your iPhone.
10. Your TV
Apple TV owners have for some time been able to use Apple’s own “Remote” app, but now even owners of many non-Apple TVs can search and find the app designed by their TV’s brand. Or, if you want to spend a few dollars, the Roomie Remote app actually works to transform your iPhone into a universal remote that works on a wide variety of TV’s, stereos, and other electronic devices.
9. Your toys
Helicopters. Boats. Racecars. They may not boost your productivity at work, but they’ll sure make you popular with the kids. My personal favorite:iSuper Tank.
8. Your GoPro
In previous years, a GoPro action sports camera might have been part of the “toys” section. But with the recent release of the GoPro Hero 4 Session, boasting 1080p60 video and 8MP photos, plus time lapse, burst and wide angle modes, all accessible remotely from your iPhone…that would just seem ridiculous.
7. Your vacuum
Robotic vacuums like Roomba have been around for a while, but the iPhone has suddenly added a new element. You can remotely turn it on, set custom cleaning schedules and even direct where it vacuums with your fingers.
6. Your Animals
Well, kind of. Some hunters have begun using apps like this one to communicate with another strategically placed device (like an iPad) to manufacture animal calls from a distance. “Siri, make a duck call for me…”
5. Your Baby Monitor
Curious about that new babysitter? Well, with apps like BabyPing, you can check in from the restaurant to make sure your child is in good hands.
4. Your liquor cabinet
So you’re vacationing at the lake and you suddenly question just how trustworthy your teens really are. If you have LifestyleLock technology installed, you can make sure your liquor (or medicines, or cleaning products) are safe and secure while you’re away.
3. Your lights
Ever find yourself needing the lights dimmed spontaneously? Thanks to Philips Hue, you can do it without leaving the couch.
2. Your thermostat
For those mornings when it’s just too cold to get out of bed, Nest has you covered.
1.Your Entire House
Though several higher-end home appliances are already smartphone compatible, there is at this point no single app that can unite them all under one user-friendly interface. However, both Apple and Google are reportedly looking to change that. Apple, with its “HomeKit,” and Google, with its own IoT protocol “Brillo,” are rumored to have a few wow-worthy tricks up their sleeves, too. But, as with everything else that the tech giants create, only time will tell whose product will really get off the ground first–and whose will stay there.
Now we cannot say whether or not you will ever really need to use your iPhone to change the channel, lock the doors or preheat the oven for some fresh duck. We can, however, say one thing with certainty–we no longer live, work and interact with an Internet of just websites. Welcome to the Internet of Things.
BONUS: You can also control…
11. Your Car
From turning on the air conditioning from your office to checking to see if your Ford Focus is fully charged or not, you can do it all without standing up.