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TiVo iPhone and Android apps on the way, Virgin Media users cross fingers

TiVo is expected to launch iPhone and Android apps to allow users to view information and control its PVRs, raising the possibility that Virgin Media might do the same.

PVR manufacturer TiVo appears to be readying iPhone and Android OS control apps according to an article in CEPro, Zatz Not Funny reports.

There's already a TiVo interface for the iPad that makes viewing information and controlling the TiVo pretty easy. Even if you've got a huge TV, it's very convenient to be able to view and update the digi-box from your lap. Assuming you can get a network or Internet connection, it can also be used to schedule recordings when you're away from home.

The experience on the smaller display of a mobile phone may be somewhat lacking, however. Browsing even simple TV listings apps on the iPhone can be annoying, and TiVo may be launching an iPhone app more for completeness than usability. A similar app on Android tablets such as the Motorola Xoom or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 could be pretty nifty.

Though the app would likely be launched for US TiVo customers first, there's a possibility that Brits with the co-branded Virgin Media box might also get in on the act. We took a look at the Virgin Media TiVo just before Christmas and were pretty impressed with it.

It certainly beats the pants off Sky and BT Vision when it comes to recommending TV programmes you'll like, plus it has a huge hard drive, streams YouTube videos and can integrate with other online video services such as BBC iPlayer. It's also socially aware, letting you post Twitter and Facebook updates from within the app.

There's no mention of the app offering streaming content. Sky for one obviously thinks there's the demand for this kind of service, having just announced Sky Go, but with high mobile data costs, you'd likely only want to use the service at home or in public Wi-Fi locations.

Could this app mark the beginning of the end for the humble remote control unit?