Pairing iPhone Remote app


Q: I have a desktop Mac and a Powerbook. I am the only user for both, and both use my same iTunes account. I use my desktop for syncing my iPhone. I would like to use Apple’s Remote app for the iPhone to control my laptop. I have no problems setting up the Remote app to wirelessly control my desktop computer. However, when I try to set up Remote for my laptop, it doesn’t work. My laptop’s iTunes accessory list DOES show my iPhone is plugged in, but doesn’t give me the “remote” icon (little circle with a triangle in it) which would let me enable the remote feature. Any ideas? 

Pairing iPhone Remote app

– Doug

A: You can easily use the Remote app for the iPhone or iPod touch to control any number of iTunes libraries and even Apple TV devices. The account that you are using in iTunes or the account that was used to download the Remote app has no bearing on this.

You do not need to physically connect the iPhone to your computer in order to pair the Remote app with your iTunes library, and in fact the Remote app will not use a USB connection to establish this pairing at all. Instead you simply need to ensure that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and that iTunes is configured to look for iPhone and iPod touch remotes. This setting should be enabled in iTunes by default, but you can confirm this by going into your iTunes preferences and selecting the Devices tab:

Ensure that the option “Look for iPhone and iPod touch remotes” is selected and click OK.

Once you’ve confirmed the above settings and that both your Powerbook and iPhone are on the same Wi-Fi network, the task of pairing the remote with your Powerbook should be just as simple as it is with your desktop Mac—simply start the Remote app on the iPhone and it should appear in your Devices list in iTunes on the Powerbook.

If you’re still having problems with the Remote app appearing, ensure that you do not have any firewall software running on your computer that might be blocking the network connection between your Powerbook and the iPhone. You can check the default Firewall configuration, or even disable it entirely by visiting your System Preferences, Security panel on Mac OS X Leopard, or System Preferences, Sharing if you’re using Mac OS X Tiger.



Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.