Consilium B: XBMC remote: Written & Video iPad App Review
Over the years, we’ve had the distinct joy of getting to sample a wide variety of new technologies. Some we’ve really, really liked (a la Spottily and streaming media) and some we have just not had an interest in (sleep trackers, pedometers tied to iPhones and robots of most kinds). That being said, we absolutely love being able to use a Home Theater PC to run our various media sources with a little more pizazz. We’re also quite fond of the XBMC platform, which thanks to the genius that is Consilium B: XBMC remote, we can now control directly from our iPad. It’s a rather incredible piece of work, and if you’re looking for our full review, you’ll find it below.
Concept and Functionality
For those not in the know, we should likely explain first what it is that XBMC does. More or less, the software is an open source solution to something like the Apple TV. It uses free coding and open source methods to create a platform that’s just as easy to use with universal remotes, your television, and your viewing habits. How’s Consilium B fit into all this?
Consilium B is what essentially turns your iPad into a universal remote. This is a lot more handy than you might think. For instance, let’s say you’re lounging around watching television and you want to change to a different film: How’s that accomplished? Most easily, it’s done by simply connecting your iPad to your host (a very simple process) and then sliding through your episodes, shows, seasons, etc. until you find the one you want. When that’s done, tap it with a finger and away you go! This is marvelously useful, and if you happen to have a gigantic movie collection and a distaste for universal remotes, you cannot be happier.
Design and Interface
When people say “open source” we tend to think of a few basic concepts: Ugly interfaces, less than stellar design, and mediocre performance. However with both XBMC and Consilium B, you’ll simply not find that. Consilium B itself is designed to be incredibly intuitive, and also to neatly parallel what’s going on within the XBMC software. It matches the original in its fluidity and easy of use, which we’re incredibly thankful for. Best of all, it really has been tweaked to be as touch-friendly as possible. This might seem like a small compliment, but considering the entire point of the app is to put your TV’s controls in your hands with a touchscreen, it makes a world of difference.
We’ll put the question of Consilium B’s value to you this way: If you’re already using XBMC, then you’ve got a lot to gain from downloading this two dollar app. If you’re not already using the software, you really should consider it. Because really, once you’ve jumped ship, buying Consilium B for your iPad is almost a necessary investment. That’s one solid recommendation, if you ask us.
Consilium B: XBMC remote requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review, as well as a video production fee.
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