Although it may not be quite as ubiquitous as it was a few years ago, the Apple Remote is still a handy little device for Mac users—even though Lion has nixed the media management app Front Row. Thankfully, German developer IOSPIRIT is looking to increase the value of your plastic or aluminum accessory with Remote Buddy Express ($20).
Available in the Mac App Store, this tool allows you to map your Apple Remote not only for standard media playback, but for all sorts of apps such as iCal and PowerPoint. It can even launch a virtual keyboard or mouse—you have to tap repeatedly on the Remote to access letters, but it’s an option. On top of the Apple Remote support, there’s a free AJAX-powered web app that can be used to let your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad control the Mac as well, behaving just like a regular iOS application. We suspect that IR ports may be on the way out of future Macs, but with iOS devices and apps like this to use as Mac controllers, will anyone really care?