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Updating a Harmony Remote with updated software

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes in with a question about an answer.

In a recent Mac 911 you mentioned that Logitech’s Harmony Remote Software was behind the times in regard to modern devices. And while that’s true, the company created the MyHarmony app that replaces that software on newer Harmony devices. I’ve found it much better for dealing with newer devices.

I’ve now added the hashtag #mybad to that article (and have updated it). You’re correct, the MyHarmony app is the way to go if you have a modernish Harmony remote (meaning a Harmony Ultimate; Harmony Ultimate Hub; Harmony Smart Control; Harmony Touch, Harmony Ultimate One; Harmony One+; Harmony 700, 650, 600, 300, 200, 350; or Harmony Link). For those who haven’t discovered it, here’s the gist.

Download your copy and make a USB connection between your Harmony remote and computer. Launch MyHarmony and you’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. (If you have a user ID created under the older Harmony Remote Software you’ll have to create a new account. Don’t worry, you can copy settings from the old account.) You’ll then be prompted to add devices. Under the new scheme you need only enter a device’s brand and model number rather than pick a particular kind of activity (“Watch a DVD,” for example). The software supports a couple of hundred thousand devices so it’s a good bet that your device will be found. (And if the model number you enter doesn’t exactly match, the software will make suggestions for models it has in its database.)

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Adding devices to your Harmony remote is much easier with MyHarmony.

You then create activities by ganging together devices—add your TV, receiver, and Roku box, for example—and then choose which input to use on your receiver or TV. When you choose an activity on the remote, all the appropriate devices should switch on and play as expected. Choose a different activity and the needed devices switch on and the unnecessary gadgets switch off.

Note that MyHarmony can’t bestow features to your remote that it can’t support. For example, although the software will allow you to add devices that can be controlled only via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi—your Mac mini or Nest thermostat, for example—something like a Harmony One does you no good as it supports only IR communication.

If you have an older Harmony remote, you’re stuck with the old software. Then again, if your remote is that old, it may be time you upgraded to take advantage of the new models’ broader range of features.

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