Two weeks ago, we discussed some tips in how to use your computer as a home theater, where we recommend buying a wireless keyboard and mouse to control your computer while on your couch. However, if you’ve got an Android smartphone, you can skip the purchase of supplemental input devices with this useful remote app called Unified Remote that’ll turn your phone into a wireless controller for your computer.

This app, available in both free and paid versions, works by downloading a small software application onto your computer that will run a dedicated server, which can be protected by a password. Once the server is running, the smartphone app will detect the server after running a scan, and the phone will then begin to function as a remote control. The app has several individualized remotes that includes one for basic input, which gives you a trackpad and a keyboard, and others such as a power controller, file manager, and start menu. Other remotes designed to work with various programs such as VLC and Windows Media Player, as well as controllers for Spotify and YouTube are also available on the free version.

Voice commands and the ability to utilize NFC actions are also available in the full version, which are handy, but may not be enough to entice many users into paying for the full version.For those willing to pay the $3.99, however, you can get remotes for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Netflix, Hulu (desktop and web), Pandora, Winamp, iTunes, and PowerPoint as well as the ability to make your own custom remotes. Personally, having been using the Unified Remote for a while now, I’ve yet to see the need for upgrading from the version, given how you can essentially do anything with the basic input remote, but these additional remotes could come in very useful.

Unfortunately, the Unified Remote app is currently only available for Android smartphones and the server can only run on Windows, but, according to their website, the creators have said that this may hopefully change in the future. But for those that can get it, I highly recommend the free version of this app as the best way of easily controlling your computer from a distance, whether it be for your cheap home theater or not.