How to Use an Android Phone/Tablet to Control Another Android via Bluetooth

by: JoseJanuary 8, 2012

We have already seen many useful apps in the Android Market, apps that we probably have been using even now. Be they for productivity, entertainment, or whatnot, these apps are an important part of our Android gadgets.

We recently ran into the Tablet Remote app, an Android app whose function confused us at first. After installing the app, though, we discovered that it’s actually a useful one. The app uses Bluetooth to communicate with fellow Android devices. It seems to be an interesting and unique function. If you’re intrigued about what this app can do, read on to find out more.

When we first saw the name of the app, we were quite intrigued. Why should you need a remote control for your tablet? That sounds odd, right? After we toyed around with the app and what it can do, we found out that it is not as odd as we first thought. In a nutshell, Tablet Remote uses Bluetooth to enable two Android devices to be controlled remotely.

Bluetooth is a technology designed for short range communication, so this app can only be used when devices are within the Bluetooth signal radius. Tablet Remote is best used in a home entertainment setup, which might make you wonder where the app would fit in a home entertainment setup.

Imagine a setup where you have an Android tablet connected to your HDTV via HDMI. In this setup, the tablet would serve as your media player. Cool setup, right? But, wouldn’t it be more cool if you had a remote control to use for your media player (i.e., your tablet)? That’s where Tablet Remote comes into play. If you have a second Android device, you can use it as a remote control for managing your other device.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the Tablet Remote app from the Android Market.
  2. Install the app on your two Android devices.
  3. The tablet connected to your HDTV will serve as the receiver, while your other device will serve as the controller.
  4. Configure the receiver device by opening Setup in the Tablet Remote app. Then, enable the two options: “Enable tablet remote in the settings” and “Change the input method for tablet remote”.
  5. Pair the two devices via Bluetooth. To do that, open the Connection screen in Tablet Remote. Tap on “Make device discoverable” and then tap on “Scan devices”. Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on both devices, otherwise you will not be able to pair them.
  6. You will see a list of detected Bluetooth devices. Select the other device from the list. Confirmation messages will appear on the other device. Follow the onscreen instructions to successfully pair the two devices.
  7. Once the two devices are paired, you can now start controlling the receiver device. To do that, tap the Remote button on the controller device. You will be taken to a screen with playback control buttons that you can use for remotely controlling the receiver device.

The Tablet Remote app gives you a new and convenient way of using the built-in Bluetooth feature of your Android gadgets. The Tablet Remote doesn’t just offer a useful Bluetooth utility but also paves the way to have a new home entertainment setup like the one described above.

Have you tried using Tablet Remote in a similar setup? What do you think of its features?

  • Cool yeah!! Tutorial is nice and I think I should try it with my own Android tablet as well..

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  • Indianist Online

    what is the difference between a tablet pc and a laptop??

    • prat

      Tablet is touch controlled and has no separate keyboard but laptop does have it

  • Acmaleson

    Thanks, Joe, for bringing this app to our attention. I have been looking for something like this in the past few weeks since I received a Xoom as a gift. While the phone–>tablet–>TV setup is nice, my interest was centered around presentation needs. I’ve been playing with the Presentations application in Google Docs and plan on using it as my sole PowerPoint software (once some of the kinks are ironed out), and I thought it would be nice to use my Galaxy phone (Fascinate) as a remote control. We in medicine do a lot of public presentations, and this would be a great and logical next step in creating an entirely Google-centric universe. That is, I create something in Docs, make it available offline if necessary, then present. So, my intended setup is:

    phone–>Tablet (Tablet Remote via Bluetooth)–>Projector/TV/larger monitor etc (via HDMI or whatever).

    As far as actually showing a presentation from Google Docs, the connection between phone and tablet works flawlessly; it’s the execution that needs a little work, as the interfaces don’t optimally accomplish what I want. Hopefully the Google and Android devs will make it seamless!

    • chamoto

      I know it’s “only” been 2 years ago since you wrote this comment but take a look at “AIO Remote” on Google Play, looks like it’ll be very well suited to your needs.

  • Markbernatz

    I was very excited about this app. However when I try to pair my tablet to phone I get “Service discovery failed” message. Right now I have an LG V909 (Gslate) tablet and an LG G2X phone. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • am I missing something? all this app does is give you a nintendo like controller? I was hoping for more of a remote access type thing. So I’m looking at my tablet, and seeing my phone, and then I can control my phone from my tablet as if I was holing my phone. disappointed.

  • Works ok with my Bionic and Transformer Pad 300, however, when I try doing a search, the keyboard function on the remote will not work.

  • sam

    Works cool. Haven’t tried connecting receiver to HDTV or home theater yet. Can the receiver be made to behave like nexus q using Bluetooth and WiFi instead of nfc and WiFi if the 2 android devices have the same content and same level of sync using the same primary Google account ?

  • mark

    cannot be installed on an android stick with android 4.0.3

  • Patricia A B

    My phone, my tablet? Not me I have a 7″ phone call tablet pc with dual cameras, ereader.
    So I have all my electronics in one device. Love it.

  • IliLi
  • Zephyr X

    how can i use this app to control my tablet for music player via mobile?