Mediamote's free app that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote control for Windows Media Center (WMC) isn't much to look at, but it gets the job done. It sports all the controls you need to operate WMC, with dedicated buttons for Recorded TV, Guide, Live TV, and DVD Menu. (Here's a complete button guide if you need help.) That's awesome news for anyone who runs WMC on, say, a laptop or den PC, and wants a way to control it from the couch. Mediamote sets up a simple Wi-Fi network between Windows and the iPhone.
There's no indication that you need to visit the developer's Web site and install the Mediamote server on your PC, but you do. With that step done, run the server and then fire up the Mediamote app on your iPhone. Then just start Windows Media Center and you should be all set.
Ironically, the one thing missing is WMC's signature big, green Start button. But at least there's a pop-up numeric keypad for punching in channel numbers.
In our initial tests, Mediamote worked like a charm, with zero lag between button taps and the corresponding action on the PC. And, guess what? There's a nifty hidden feature: shake your iPhone and you can choose two other apps to control, iTunes and Windows Media Player 11. (Needless to say, Apple's own Remote app handles the former much better.)
Although Mediamote definitely comes across as a 1.0 release (actually, more like 0.9), it works as advertised. It's a very handy little freebie for those seeking some distance from Windows Media Center.