Satechi's bluetooth remote adds a 'Siri button' and may save you a traffic ticket or worse.
We really shouldn't be fiddling with our phones at all while we drive, whether it be to answer a text or enter a navi location, or simply to play some music. For such obvious reasons I decided to install some sort of remote for my iPhone. After some research, I went with the only real choice, the Satechi Bluetooth remote for iOS. The quick verdict? It works extremely well.
If you read my earlier post, you saw my DIY iPhone dock setup, you can see that based on its design, the home button is hidden under the armrest cubby release. Additionally, it's an iPhone - everything is touch screen, which means you would have to look at the phone to skip tracks, launch apps, or obviously read and reply to texts. Sure you could use Siri from the phone's home button directly, but you would still need to search for or fiddle with the phone, take it out of its dock, or out of your pocket or pocket book.
The Satechi remote solves all the problems mentioned above.
First let me say Satechi's remote has an extremely quick connection to its paired device. In fact, it seems to be operational as soon as you flip the 'on, switch located on its upper right side. I'm not sure if Satechi enables some sort of sleep mode to accomplish this. They very well may considering if you haven't been using the remote even though it has been switched on, it responds on the second click for any function then immediately there after after that initial click. It's as if the first click wakes the remote.
The remote is really light, and the build quality is good. The door that slides to reveal the pairing buttons feels like it could snap off when opened, but once closed, it's solid enough.
Battery life has also been stellar. I've been using the remote for about 2 months as of this writing, and have on many occasion forgotten to turn the remote off. Further, since installation I've used the remote extensively. The battery it shipped with still works.
I decided to mount my satechi remote to the left of my steering wheel for easy access. It is not directly in my line of sight. However, since the remote consists of only tactile buttons I quickly learned where the buttons were and never needed to look at it. If you're curious I modified an iPhone table stand I purchased from amazon as a mount for the remote.
It's great to have the 'play/pause' button gained from the remote, as well as the 'fast forward' and 'rewind buttons'. However, after installing the remote and by default gaining a Siri button, I've come to realize that Siri is most useful to me in my car and it is the addition of that functionality that makes the remote most useful. I used Siri quite infrequently in or outside of my car, until I installed the Satechi remote. I now constantly use the voice assistant to read texts, respond to texts, play an iTunes artist or playlist, or just navigate home by yelling "go home." It all works just as it would on your iPhone by just holding in the home button on the Satechi remote for a few seconds - and it works excellently.
You will need a hands free system in your vehicle to execute the setup I/ve duscussed above, whether it be after market, or factory installed. I've been using my remote in a 2010 Honda Accord EX-L Non-Navi, with Honda's Hands Free Link. Satechi's remote also works well with the Hands Free Link system, and to end a request of Siri the "back/end call" button on the steering wheel works to close out Siri or to return to playing music or the like.
I highly recommend the Satechi Bluetooth remote.
My recommendations to the Satechi would be to consider making a version of their remote specifically for automobiles that can be hard wired into a vehicle's electrical system for power, with a form factor more appropriate for vehicles, or that can easily be mounted inside vehicles.
Here is a quick video of typical usage of the remote.
I was recently asked:
"Where did you get that mount to put the remote behind the steering wheel? Does it come with the remote itself?"
Answer: The mount does not come with the remote. I purchased the mount from Amazon.com. It is a metal iPhone dock that I modified by removing excess metal. I then attached it to the dash via 3M double sided tape and (1) one screw. I suggest using a Unibit to pre-drill the mount before inserting a small self-tapping screw.