Today's the day: the first Remote Buddy 2.0 public beta is here! 🎉

The journey to this milestone has been a very long one for me - and I couldn't be happier to finally share with the world what I've been working on:

RCKit: All New Drivers

One of the biggest areas of change in version 2.0 is in drivers.

All drivers have been rewritten from scratch (and many new ones been added) as part of a multi-year effort to create a new technology stack: RCKit.

RCKit is highly modular and dynamic by design and contains everything needed to build modern remote control apps.

Remote Buddy 2.0 is the first product to adopt and ship with parts of RCKit. Besides improved drivers and support for new devices, that also means that Remote Buddy is no longer dependent on kernel extensions - and in fact no longer includes any.

Exclusive Flirc Features

Also new in version 2.0 is support for the Flirc USB stick that packs an ARM processor and IR transceiver into a beautiful stainless steel enclosure.

Flirc and IOSPIRIT have teamed up to deliver an integrated software and hardware experience and deliver new features that weren't possible before.

Apple Remote wake-up support

The first new feature to ship is Apple Remote wake-up support.

For a long time, Remote Buddy has allowed using an Apple Remote with newer Macs (that come without IR Receiver) via USB IR receivers. Yet, none of them had dedicated Apple Remote wake-up support like Apple's, requiring users to find other ways to wake up their Mac.

No longer. Starting with version 4.8.2, the Flirc firmware allows Remote Buddy to enable wake-up by any, a single - or multiple Apple Remotes. Which is not just matching, but surpassing the capabilities of Apple's IR Receiver.

If you'd like to try the new wake-up feature, a beta of the new Flirc firmware is available in the Flirc forums.

Support for Logitech Harmony remotes

Harmony IR remotes (300, 525, 800, One)

A special Remote Buddy Universal profile is now available in Logitech's device database.

It has been specifically designed by IOSPIRIT to allow the usage with all IR receivers supported by Remote Buddy - including Apple IR receivers.

Setup instructions can be found here.

Harmony Hub remotes (Smart Control, Companion, Ultimate, Elite)

Remote Buddy 2.0 extends support for Harmony Hub based remotes, offering a wider range of remote controls to pick from.

Version 2.0 also no longer needs your Mac to be paired as PS3. Instead, you can now pair your Mac as … Mac. New setup instructions can be found here.

Existing pairings from version 1.x (as PS3) are migrated automatically and can continue to be used.

Support for new remotes

Remote Buddy 2.0 also supports additional IR and Bluetooth remotes:

Amazon Fire TV remotes

These Amazon Fire TV remotes are supported:

The microphone included in the Voice models is not supported.

Windows MCE remotes

If you bought an eHome / Windows MCE USB IR receiver for use with Remote Buddy, you'll often also have gotten an IR remote alongside it.

Previously, these IR remotes could not be used with Remote Buddy. But with version 2.0, many of them can now be used with external USB IR receivers - with three frequently bundled models from Microsoft, Philips and Trust receiving direct support.

More Bluetooth remotes

Remote Buddy 2.0 also adds support for these Bluetooth remotes:

Is your remote missing?

If you're using a remote that's not currently supported by Remote Buddy, and you'd like to see support for it in the future, please get in touch.

Diagnostics

Remote Buddy's new RCKit foundation has Diagnostics deeply baked in. This feature can automatically detect many issues, notify users and - where possible - offers one-click solutions.

Privacy & Security settings

For several years now, Apple has kept improving macOS security and privacy protections by casting an ever-expanding net with permissions. This has led to a fast-growing (sometimes excessive) number of permission prompts for users.

Dealing with these permission prompts can be painful and surprisingly complex for both users and developers.

Due to its rich feature set and its ability to control and use so many different parts of macOS, Remote Buddy is increasingly affected by this. So I did a lot of research and experimentation to find ways to improve the user experience around granting permissions.

Here's the result:

Introducing… Privacy & Security settings! New in Remote Buddy 2.0, they offer:

  • a consistent overview of all relevant permissions in a single place
  • explanations detailing how each permission is used
  • complete guidance through all necessary steps to grant a permission, simplifying the process as much as possible (by f.ex. opening the right section of System Preferences, or relaunching the app if necessary)
  • access to other privacy-related options like Analytics and Check for updates

These settings are powered by a new, modular permissions framework (currently still under development). If you develop Mac software and have interest in bringing Privacy & Security settings like these to your own app, please get in touch.

macOS Catalina, 64-bit, old version support

Remote Buddy 2.0 is now a 64-bit app and compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina. The minimum supported macOS version is now macOS 10.12 Sierra.

Remote Buddy 1.x will remain available for download for users of older macOS releases. A final update to Remote Buddy 1.x will ensure that it can be used with Remote Buddy 2.0 license codes.

No further updates to version 1.x are planned beyond that.

Pricing

Remote Buddy 2.0 will be a free update for all Remote Buddy 1.x licenses purchased in 2018 and 2019.

For licenses purchased before 2018, the new version will be a paid upgrade.

Pricing has not yet been determined and will be announced at a later date.

An upgrade path from Remote Buddy Express (the Mac App Store version) to Remote Buddy 2.0 is planned and currently evaluated.

Availability

If you'd like to be notified when new betas and the final release becomes available, please sign up for the IOSPIRIT newsletter:

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