With Dijit, You’ll Run out of Fingers before You Run out of Features
In the small pond of universal remote apps, Dijit is already the biggest fish. In the rapidly-overflowing pond of social TV apps, Dijit can hold their own with anyone. But having recently acquired Miso, Dijit may be poised to conquer the TV-related app world completely. Let’s take a look at where they are now, before everything changes forever.
First, the Apple side of the story.
Dijit’s universal remote app comes with codes for over 200,000 devices, including TVs and set-top boxes from every major cable and satellite company, Blu-ray and DVD players, and even other devices such as Roku and Xbox 360 (just don’t expect to play Call of Duty with it). There’s a big catch, though — iOS devices don’t have an IR port, so you can’t really use them as remote controls without extra equipment. The solution is called Griffin Beacon: a converter that pairs via Bluetooth to give your iPhone or iPad the necessary IR control while offering full Dijit integration. Think of it as a $69.99 upgrade to the full app.
Considering what the Dijit remote has to offer, it may be quite a bargain. Touchscreen-equipped universal remotes aren’t cheap (the Logitech Harmony line starts at three figures), and the ability to control your devices with fully customizable gestures is amazingly compelling. Plus, there aren’t many universal remotes on the market that allow you to completely get rid of any buttons you don’t use and put the ones you do exactly where you want them.But Dijit doesn’t stop there.
NextGuide not only syncs with your TV provider to bring you show listings, but also lets you personalize your display to eliminate all of the channels that you’ll never watch. NextGuide also offers show “listings” for Netflix, HuluPlus, and iTunes for a perfect mix of “what’s on” and “what’s always available.” You can create alerts for upcoming shows, but there are also specific categories that allow Dijit to tailor alerts, searches, and new-show discoveries — based on anything you want. It’s a powerful “you might also like” feature, that works so much better than you’d expect. But even that isn’t all that Dijit does.
Dijit’s NextGuide has social integration, including Facebook sharing to send and receive TV recommendations, as well as built-in YouTube video search and playback. What’s already included is impressive, but Dijit has also recently acquired the popular TV show check-in app Miso. This combination promises even more interactive and feature-packed social integration, including the content-rich interactive second-screen SideShow — which outdoes even the stalwart IMDB for synced-up access to show information, trivia, and back-story.
Now, let’s talk about Android.
Dijit Universal Remote for Android offers the full range of universal features, including total customization to make your interface as simple or feature-rich as you like. As with iOS, there are built-in codes for over 200,000 devices, a learning function, and WiFi integration with Roku — a feature that will work just fine even if your device doesn’t have a built-in IR port. Unfortunately, very few Android devices do, apart from the DROID Xyboard and Motorola Xoom 2, so most users will also need the Griffin Beacon to get the full potential.
The Guide element of the Android app is noticeably less feature-rich than NextGuide. You’ll still get the ability to sync with your TV provider and customize the listings to show only the channels that you want to see. The details page for any given show gives the basic synopsis and air date info — to be fair, it’s as good as any TV guide app for Android. But you don’t get the social functions, the streaming info, the custom gesture support, or the snazzy design of the iOS version.
Dijit is an absolute slam-dunk over-the-top YES for iPad and a definite thumbs-up for iPhone. Dijit is only a half-hearted OK for Android, due to the fewer features, lack of recent development, and some troubling user reviews. However, Dijit’s recent merge with Miso is an indication of their intent to grow so I have no doubt that Dijit will become a 100% yes for android users in the near future.
Requiring the Griffin Beacon for full remote control features means that you’ll have to pay to get the most out of this free app, but in the end you’ll have one of the most customizable and powerful universal remote systems available. Even without the remote functions, NextGuide is one of the best social TV guide apps that iOS has to offer — and once Miso integration is fully achieved; there may not be any others worth considering.
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