Upon downloading the app, you can take a short tour of the Zapper's functions or begin the setup. You start by adding a "Room" to your setup. Common areas like living room, bedroom and dining room are represented by easy icons. If you don't like the icons, a selection is provided to change them.
Once you've added a room, you add the devices that you'll want to control in that room. I began with a simple living room setup, adding a TV, Blu-ray player and cable box. The process begins by picking the type of device, then the brand, then the model number. For most components, the model number is often printed on the front of the device, but sometimes only on the rear panel.
Brands like Samsung, Sharp, LG and Panasonic have literally thousands of old and new products on the market, using many hundreds of potential remote control codes. VooMote has done a good job here of making the process of finding your correct codes easy. While my Sony TV's model number did not come up on the first set of offerings, a very simple prompt-and-response procedure found my correct codes very quickly. You point the old remote at the Zapper, follow the on-screen instructions and within a very brief trial and error sequence, my correct codes were found, which took less than a minute for each device. This is a vast improvement over the endless lists you have to punch through on a conventional (cheap) universal remote.
Once you've added the device to the room, you save the setup and add as many more devices to that room as you need. You can also program the aforementioned OneView settings to include multiple devices, which you flip through on your iPhone/Pod/Pad with a swipe, the same way you'd "page through" your other apps.
For example, if you watched cable TV last night and turned off your gear, your TV will still be set to the cable box's input when you power it up again next. So if you want to start a DVD the next night and you need for the TV to now be switched to another input for the DVD, the Zapper will not sense or execute this change automatically. In this situation, you'll have to change the input on the TV manually, either through a pre-programmed or customized button.
To be fair, few remotes can perform this trick, and almost none at this price point. The Harmony line from Logitech features this kind of active sensing, but most of their models are 2- 3x (or more) the cost of the $69 Zapper. The least expensive Harmony model that can do this kind of comprehensive switching will only control 5 devices, which may be fine for some setups but not enough for others. It also has the obvious limitation of fixed buttons and functions.
For one thing, most people's iPhone, iPad or iPod touch are used with an auto-shutoff feature to save the battery life. If you're planning on using said device as a remote control for an evening of TV or a movie, you'll either have to disengage this feature or keep "waking" the device every time you want to switch the channel or volume, or make other changes. An iPad has enough screen area to show a full complement of control buttons for a serious home theater viewing (picture and sound modes, etc.), but the same functions on an iPhone or iPod touch need to be "swiped" through subsequent screens. The VooMote does overcome this limitation through the "One View" feature, but you'll have to customize these screens yourself. It's not a difficult process, but could be intimidating for some non-techie users.
In summary, the VooMote Zapper succeeds in what it sets out to do. The setup process was easier and faster than other remotes I've seen in this category. The IR emitter has a broad range and worked more reliably than similar products I've attached to my Apple devices. The graphics are clear and legible, and once programmed, the remote is easy enough for anyone to use. There's also the undeniable cool factor of having such a slick looking controller for your A/V gear. For its modest price, the VooMote Zapper really lets you clear the coffee table of all your remotes. You'll never miss them.