Home > Android, Hardware > Transform Your Smartphone into a Universal IR Remote Control with ZaZaRemote

Transform Your Smartphone into a Universal IR Remote Control with ZaZaRemote

You can plenty of electrical appliances controlled with their own infrared remote control around your house or/and office, and wish you could just control then with one and only remote. There are already universal remote controls for sale, and they may be great for devices in the same room, but not so convenient to control device in multiple rooms. The good news is that you can now transform you phone into a universal infrared remote control thanks to ZaZaRemote app available for Android or iOS, even if your phone does not come with a built-in IR transmitter.

ZaZaRemote with 3.5mm IR Transmitter (Top left), USB OTG IR learning (Top Right) , 3.5mm IR learning (Bottom Right)

ZaZaRemote with 3.5mm IR Transmitter (Top left), USB OTG IR learning dongle (Top right) , 3.5mm IR learning dongle (Bottom right)

There are three accessories available to add IR functionality to your smartphone:

  • An IR transmitter than you can connected into the 3.5m,m audio jack of your smartphone.
  • A USB OTG dongle that’s both an IR transmitter and receiver used to learn the remote control. (40 mm long)
  • An IR transmitter and receiver dongles that connects to the 3.5mm audio jack of your smartphone

The audio jack IR transmitter sells for just $1.09 on tinydeal, and since it cannot learn the IR code of your remote control, you have to relies on the remote control database in ZaZaRemote app that contains between 58,000 to 160,000 remotes depending where you read. The database is user generated, so it evolves everyday.

If you want to play it safe, and make sure it will support your remote, you’ll need to USB OTG or audio jack dongle with IR Learning function, the former is sold for $10 on Aliexpress + 2 or 3 dollars for shipping. I could not find the audio jack dongle on Chinese e-retailers site in English, but it’s available on Taobao for 68 RMB (~$11). Bear in mind that you can to make sure your phone supports USB OTG for the OTG dongle to work. The company also posted a disclaimer saying the audio jack may not work on all smartphones.

ZaZaRemote App ScreenShot (Click to Enlarge)

ZaZaRemote App ScreenShot (Click to Enlarge)

The application allows to control all sort of devices including TVs, set-top boxes, media players, amplifiers, air conditioners, cameras and more… You can also re-arrange the remote button on the screen as your please. If you have one of the dongle with IR learning functionality, you can also submit your device’s remote control to the service using the “Synchronise Configuration” menu of the app.

ZazaRemote is designed and manufactured by a company called Tiqiaa (Shanghai) Information Technology.

Thanks to Onebir for the tip.

  1. ben
    July 21st, 2014 at 13:02 | #1

    Do all 3 solutions shown above use the ZaZaRemote app software?

    As an english alternative to buying the 3.5mm ZaZaRemote from Taobao, seems like you can get it on ebay, although it’s $26.

    I wonder if it’s possible to transmit IR signals on the ZaZaRemote hardware, but without the use of their software/database.

    For example, can I use open source software (OpenRemote/IRule/IrScrutinizer/IrMaster/AnalysIR/Audacity/etc) to generate the exact pattern and carrier frequency (38khz, 56khz, 60khz, 455khz) I want to transmit?

    Although for the higher frequencies, I doubt the audio jack (3-30khz?) will work, and instead will need an ir specific solution (globalcache etc)

  2. July 21st, 2014 at 14:31 | #2

    @ben
    Yes, all three solutions works with ZaZaRemote.

    I don’t know if you can use another app with it.

  3. Franek
  4. July 21st, 2014 at 18:31 | #4

    How phone recognizes IR transmitter connected to headphone input? If as non-existing headphones then it’s useless as you cant use your phone and ir remote functionality at the same time.

  5. July 21st, 2014 at 21:47 | #5

    @Stane1983
    It should work just like Pressy (http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/08/30/pressy-adds-a-physical-button-via-your-phones-headphone-jack/), or this NXP development kit (http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/05/29/nxp-smartphone-quick-jack-solution-connects-to-your-smartphone-audio-jack-and-interfaaces-with-sensors-hmi-devices/)

    The NXP kit says:
    “Transmission uses the familiar Manchester Coding format to ensure convenient, reliable operation. The microcontroller automatically identifies microphone (MIC) and ground (GND), for quick and easy operation. The energy-harvesting block uses the right channel of the audio jack to output a 21.3 kHz sine waveform. The block rectifies the signal and generates a DC output.”

  6. Tired_
    July 22nd, 2014 at 04:01 | #6

    I’ve been looking for exactly this kind of device (HTC One envy, I think). Thanks for the post!

  7. ru4mj12
    July 22nd, 2014 at 07:49 | #7

    @cnxsoft

    I’m trying to think of, aside from a cool factor, when you would need to use your phone for a spi/i2c/gpio interface?

    For quick debugging maybe, but how much harder would it be to whip out a laptop with a bus pirate or similar to do any serious debugging..

    As for a general interface solution, I imagine most sensor devices will be accessible via bluetooth le, nfc, or wifi..

    What would be some good uses for the NXP 3.5mm jack platform?

  8. July 22nd, 2014 at 09:18 | #8

    @ru4mj12
    By using the audio jack, you can make products that are much cheaper than any Bluetooth, NFC or Wi-Fi equivalent… e.g. $1 button, $1 IR transmitter…
    The NXP devkit can be used to experiment and develop such products.

  9. TonyC
    July 30th, 2014 at 03:38 | #9

    Can anyone advise how to set the zazaremote app to English?? Mine is in Chinese and I have no idea how to change it.
    Many thanks.

  10. July 30th, 2014 at 09:44 | #10

    @TonyC
    The app is in English in my phone (Android 4.2.1), so I guess it should just automatically detect the locale set in your phone. If you default language is not English, it could be possible it defaults to Chinese.

  11. TonyC
    July 30th, 2014 at 12:41 | #11

    Thanks for the reply. I have installed the app on the iphone (downloaded from the Apple app store) and it has defaulted to Chinese. Because I can’t read it, I cannot find any button or menu to change it. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

  12. John
    October 18th, 2014 at 18:16 | #12

    Zaza remote in English how to.
    To get this app to work in English on iPhone, all you have to to is go to settings, general, language & Regions then select English (not English UK). Now your zaza remote will now be in English. Hope the info helps it took me ages to find this out.

  13. Janan
    October 27th, 2014 at 02:13 | #13

    anyone knows if zazaremote works with Motorola Moto G?

    • adrian
      April 21st, 2016 at 09:05 | #14

      It works with moto g xt1033 running cm12.1 but, you should not push ir dongle to audio jack untill click, just insert the device, run the app, point ir dongle to another smartphone camera, and hit any button in app, if you do correctly, you should see blink light come out from ir led. And now I can control my benq projector. Sorry for my bad english.

  14. ud
    December 20th, 2014 at 09:04 | #15

    Do you have and SDK , or is there way to re-program my remote

  15. December 20th, 2014 at 10:10 | #16

    @ud
    I don’t think there’s an SDK. If your remote is not part of the list, you’d need the dongle with IR learning function, and the app will be able to learn your remote IR codes.

  16. ori
    December 23rd, 2014 at 19:31 | #17

    Hi it supports my phone ? :
    oneplus one : https://oneplus.net/

  17. Pavle
    March 30th, 2015 at 22:35 | #18

    I made my own IR dongle and it’s not working with Zaza remote app.What I have to do to get IR dongle working with Zaza remote app????

  18. tof
    April 6th, 2015 at 04:17 | #19

    @Pavle: I made my IR dongle too, with two LEDs.
    I add to select as device setting: Smart-ZaZa
    And in Advanced settings: Audio Reversal to Right, and max volume to 100%.
    And then it worked.

  19. Pavle
    April 24th, 2015 at 02:41 | #20

    @tof
    I tested Zaza remote app on LG L9 and it’s working, but it is not working on Huawei y530???WHY???

  20. Pavle
    April 24th, 2015 at 02:43 | #21

    @tof
    I set Smart-Zaza and 100% and Audio Reversal to Right

    Zaza remote app on LG L9 and it’s working, but it is not working on Huawei y530???WHY???

  21. Pavle
    April 24th, 2015 at 02:47 | #22

    What is difference between USB OTG Zaza remote and 3.5mm audio jack Zaza remote????
    What is better????

  22. April 24th, 2015 at 09:44 | #23

    @Pavle
    I assume the functionality is the same between the 3.5mm audio and and USB OTG versions, it just depends which port people would rather use.

  23. Pavle
    April 25th, 2015 at 17:43 | #24

    @Pavle
    I set Smart-Zaza and 100% and Audio Reversal to Right
    Zaza remote app on LG L9 and it’s working, but it is not working on Huawei y530???WHY???

  24. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 14:46 | #25

    @cnxsoft
    What Zaza remote do you recommend me: 3.5mm audio or USB OTG?????

  25. April 26th, 2015 at 15:07 | #26

    @Pavle
    I have never tried Zaza remote, so I don’t feel I can give a recommendation to one or the other.

  26. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 15:34 | #27

    I am trying to buy 3.5mm audio Zaza remote but I cannot find it on amazon and ebay.

  27. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 16:12 | #28
  28. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 16:23 | #30

    @cnxsoft
    I don’t want that I want this: 3.5mm IR learning dongle (Bottom right) on the picture above

  29. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 16:24 | #31

    @cnxsoft
    Do you know where I can find this : 3.5mm IR learning dongle (Bottom right) on the picture above

  30. Pavle
    April 26th, 2015 at 22:57 | #32

    @Pavle
    Do you know how can I make my own made IR dongle to work on Huawei y530???

  31. Pavle
  32. MUTHU
    June 15th, 2015 at 18:16 | #34

    Not support Moto G

  33. OK
    July 12th, 2015 at 16:41 | #35

    @Pavle

    besides the price, no difference.

  34. Pavle
    July 22nd, 2015 at 12:52 | #36

    Is S3 Neo I9301I supported by Zaza remote app??

  35. Maxa
    July 23rd, 2015 at 04:51 | #37

    @Pavle
    Yes. I have excatly same phone and is working fine.

  36. Pavle
    July 25th, 2015 at 00:21 | #38

    I tried to put put zaza otg but android just says usb connector connected and zaza doesnt detect it.How to fix this???

  37. Pavle
    July 25th, 2015 at 03:38 | #39

    Are you using zaza otg???

  38. Pavle
    July 26th, 2015 at 12:25 | #40

    How to use Zaza OTG on S3 Neo I9301I ????

  39. haruun
    October 18th, 2015 at 01:59 | #41

    Please am using lg d500 but the zaza remote can not function on it please I need help

  40. Ettercap
    October 29th, 2015 at 00:41 | #42

    Someone needs to make another app that functions with the usb otg and 3.5mm headphone version because zazaremote is all kinds of sketchy it’s permissions are ridiculous, so basically I’ve bought an adapter I can’t even use with my phone due to security issues would easily pay 3.99-4.99 for an alternative app that didn’t require so many permissions, I mean why does it need to use your camera or record audio or read your contacts or be able to turn on your Hotspot I really don’t even want it to connect to the internet.

  41. Sahib
    November 4th, 2015 at 00:05 | #43

    Franek :
    The IR learning is available ex on http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Universal-Andriod-mobile-phone-remote-control-3-5mm-audio-output-for-all-infrared-equipments-TV-air/1564415672.html

    @Franek
    i have same device how can i record diy
    when i click on diy it says connect device with usb cable to pc nut it doesnt have any other port than audio jack
    my app recognize it as smart-zaza is it correct or i should change
    thanks in advance

  42. Chem
    December 11th, 2015 at 04:32 | #44

    A number of phones already have IR (Samsung S4/5/6), and Zaza seems to work alright. I found Peel to be a better app for IR codesets and language. Though, I don’t think it has a learning feature

  43. December 13th, 2015 at 11:55 | #45

    HEllo guys can anybody tell me how to add codes to the ZAZA remote app. I dont have the learnng device is it possible to manually edit and add codes to the ZAZA remote app ?

  44. Roshan
    February 12th, 2016 at 22:23 | #46

    can u tell me about zazaremote app .i cannot find this app soo please tell me where this app .plzz i m use htc desire 620 g soo can i use zazaremote app for my device.

  45. kaichou
    February 14th, 2016 at 04:00 | #47

    hi guys, is it possible to learn codes through the zazaremote, then export and use with other devices? like redmi note 2 that does have an IR transmitter, but not a receiver.
    does they work with zazaremote app only or can they be used with anymote as well?

  46. Pavle
    February 14th, 2016 at 17:48 | #48

    You can make IR remote for android with 2 IR Leds and stereo audio jack: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Infrared-transmitter-for-iPhone-iPod/
    And you must set volume to the max on android and inside Zaza remote app: uncheck auto recognoze device,select SMART ZAZA and in advanced settings set Zaza max volume to 100%

  47. rcdorrius
    February 24th, 2016 at 20:37 | #49

    Hi all, I’ve tried on my Nexus 5 MarshMallow unrooted the 3.5 Audio jack IR Remote and it works ok using Zazaremote app. Later I got the USB OTG universal IR Remote. zazaremote app. recognized the device but not functional. It works only recording (DIY) from other remote.

    Please help if anyone have tried this device on Nexus 5 successfully.

    Thanks.

  48. Rhendy
    February 25th, 2016 at 03:08 | #50

    Hi i have made ir infrared dongle with audio jack 3.5 and using zazaremote app for samsung note 2 but not working. Anyone can help me?

  49. rcdorrius
    February 25th, 2016 at 11:23 | #51

    @Rhendy
    Hi Rhendy, go to advanced settings, set ZaZa max valume to 100% and Audio Reversal On (slide to the right).
    Hope it will work for you.

    Good Luck!

  50. John
    March 16th, 2016 at 23:15 | #52

    I have bought a 3.5 audio jack from, eBay. I am trying to use it with zazaremote but it does not respond. My mobile device is iPhone 6. Any advice?

  51. Marcelo da Silva
    March 18th, 2016 at 05:47 | #53

    boa noite
    zazaremote funciona com zenfone 5?
    obgd

  52. onebir
    March 31st, 2016 at 16:32 | #54
  53. agrram
    April 20th, 2016 at 21:54 | #55

    je me demmande si ca fonction sur galaxy s3

  54. Pavle
    May 21st, 2016 at 05:05 | #56

    You can use viper4android to turn on gain and get voltage for audio jack.

  55. Stefan
    July 5th, 2016 at 03:39 | #57

    Ettercap :
    Someone needs to make another app that functions with the usb otg and 3.5mm headphone version because zazaremote is all kinds of sketchy it’s permissions are ridiculous, so basically I’ve bought an adapter I can’t even use with my phone due to security issues would easily pay 3.99-4.99 for an alternative app that didn’t require so many permissions, I mean why does it need to use your camera or record audio or read your contacts or be able to turn on your Hotspot I really don’t even want it to connect to the internet.

    Yes, I came here looking for an alternative. I will never install a remote-app with those permission that zaza requests; mic-permission for a remote app? etc. no way.

  56. sem
    July 17th, 2016 at 02:35 | #58

    tanks for posting this. i was gone to buy a LG 4. for only the IR remote. U are my saver. for this day. tanks so much.

  57. knreddy
    July 24th, 2016 at 19:43 | #59

    Simple audio plug type transmitter remote works but only from 5 inches on redme2 hence it may need android with amplified head phone socket.
    USB type ir remote works for transmit as regular remote and also learns new commands but both are recognised by only Zaza remote app only (may be due to proprietary hardware or driver or locked in driver).But they are not at all recognised by zaza in BlackBerry Passport.

  58. August 5th, 2016 at 10:19 | #60

    Is this IR blaster compatible with all android phones?

  59. Pavle
    August 24th, 2016 at 17:50 | #61

    @Akshat
    Yes it is and if you don’t have enough voltage for IR LEDS , you can use viper4android to amplify signal.

  60. LUCKRA PHP
    September 24th, 2016 at 16:31 | #62

    Is this 3.5 mm transmitter working eith earler Samsung S6?

  61. sujith
    September 24th, 2016 at 17:56 | #63

    @cnxsoft

    USB OTG has receiver also, where as the other one don’t have a receiver.

  62. shivam patel
    October 16th, 2016 at 09:22 | #64

    can i controll my rc helicopter with zaza remote can any one tell please

  63. October 16th, 2016 at 14:45 | #65

    @shivam patel
    RC toys normally don’t use IR, so Zaza remote will not work.

  64. Pavle
    November 14th, 2016 at 04:09 | #66

    @LUCKRA PHP
    S6 has built in IR LED you don’t need 3.5mm transmitter!!!

  65. Jim
    November 17th, 2016 at 21:30 | #67

    Hi guys! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ANSWERS!!!

  1. August 11th, 2014 at 20:40 | #1