20110605

Using an Apple Remote with Mac OS Preview

Last Tuesday I presented a talk in a congress, here in Barcelona. This post is not about this talk, but about the Mac remote and Apple's "problems". If you are interested, you can download the talk here, anyway.

As the congress was local, instead of using my netbook for the talk I brought my MacBook. Instead of using arrow keys, I could use these fancy Apple remotes. Good plan... at the moment. I asked a colleague for his Apple remote (my girlfriend had hers in her office, and I could not get it soon enough)... And after lunch, before my talk I checked if it worked.

Well, as you already know, I use LaTeX and Beamer to create my presentations... And generate as output a PDF file. Which I then open with Preview, a native Mac OS app. And when I tried to use Apple Remote, it didn't pass the pages. Why? Well, Apple only supports a handful of applications, the most relevant being Keynote and Front Row. And not Preview. I was shocked.

As I expected, there was a free solution to this problem, but at first it looked troublesome. I found a program named iRedLite. The "Lite" part scared me: would I be only able to pass 30 pages and then need to enter my registration?

Turns out it is "Lite" because there is a Pro version which can interact with a USB infra-red emitter to control your TV and other gadgets. It works wonderful, no problems. If you ever need to give a PDF presentation with a Mac, give it a try.

I had another solution which hopefully I didn't have to use: a free application for iPhone, RemotePad and RemotePad server in my Mac (there is also a Linux version). But passing pages is a little cumbersome, needing to flip+scroll in a very small screen. Far better to use the remote with iRedLite!
Written by Ruben Berenguel