I scoffed whan I first saw the PR e-mail for this Bluetooth iOS remote. Literally: I made a weird, half-snoring, half LOL-ing noise into my coffee. If that doesn’t count as a "scoff," I don’t know what does.
Anyhow, after my initial (and messy) reaction, I quickly changed my mind. This thing packs in so many useful funcions, and does it in such a (fairly) handsome package that now I’m considering buying one.
You know how the media keys work on your Bluetooth keyboard to control your iPad or iPhone? This is that, only without all the letters, and shrunken into a palm-sized lozenge. You can control volume, play/pause and mute, and there is a home button so you can trigger Siri — great for track selection on the iPhone.
There are even a bunch of number buttons hidden under a slide-open flap, presumably with good reason.
And because it is pretty much just a tiny Bluetooth keyboard, the remote has some other neat functions. You can use it to control slideshows in the Photos app, or presentations in Keynote. And you can also use the "volume-up" button to snap a photo (yes, this works with your Bluetooth keyboard too — try it now).
Best of all is the price. The remote, from Satechi, comes in at the reasonable, reasonable price of $40. Not super-cheap, but given that the Apple remote is half the price and offers much less than half the functionality with iDevices (ie. none, without a dock at least), it looks like a bargain.