One night last week, after saying goodnight to our daughter, my husband and I settled down on the couch, ready for our nightly dose of television. But, as we quickly realized, there was one slight problem: We were missing the cable remote control.
Our daughter had been playing with the remote earlier that evening, so we looked under the couch, under the couch pillows, in the toilet, in the trashcan and in our 17-month-old tot’s toys bins. The remote was nowhere to be found.
Within 10 minutes, however, we were controlling our cable box remotely thanks to a clever and useful replacement solution my husband discovered, a trick that is today’s hint.
“There must be an app for this problem,” my husband said during our frantic search. So he grabbed his iPhone, searched in the iTunes store and sure enough, he found a free app, the XFinity TV remote app from Comcast Cable, that transformed his iPhone into a remote (all he needed to set it up was our Comcast email and password). It turns out that the app works on mobile Apple and android devices.
Don’t have cable through Comcast? Time Warner Cable offers a similar app, as does DirectTV and Apple TV. Gizmodo, meanwhile, covers five apps that will turn your phone into a universal remote (in other words, one that replaces all the various remotes you have for the TV, the cable box, the DVD player, etc.)
To be sure, you can make do without a cable remote (assuming you can turn your television on) by getting up to change the channel on your cable box, but many of us are too lazy for that option. Or you could just watch programming on your computer or your iPad while you wait for the lost remote to show up, and there’s always the option of just skipping television all together and reading a book instead.
So how did our lost remote story end? My husband had another brilliant idea. After transforming his phone into a remote, he checked the kitchen wine-cubby hole that we had turned into a play area for our daughter, a spot we use to distract her away from other more dangerous areas in the kitchen. There, he found the remote.
How have you dealt when your toddler has misplaced the remote or another such important item? Where did you finally find it?