I can't really get behind using my tablet/phone as a remote. I often use my tablet while watching TV, and it takes quite a bit longer to switch apps, do what I want, then switch back, when I could simply pick up the remote right next to me and do it in 1/4 the time, if that much. Also, it means that I either need to get a relatively expensive RF device that can blast IR to my devices, or an IR blaster that goes in my headphone port that I have to manage. Either way (physical remote or remote app) I have to get another piece of hardware. At that point, I might as well just get a Logitech Harmony remote and be done with it.
I'd love to integrate an iPad into a car, though! The standard implications are great, but on top of that, if you jailbroke said iPad, one could write an app that could manage the engine mapping, allowing you to switch between performance and economy modes, for example. On a turbocharged car, you could see differences of 30+ hp that way. The only reason I haven't done this is I don't have a spare iPad laying around to do it, nor do I have the coding skills necessary. And by that, I mean I basically have zero coding skills. I took an intro class to C++ once at the community college 5 years ago.
I use a sony remote on my phone and a kindle fire to control my PS3 for netflix, feels easier than using the PS3 controller
Yeah, for something like Netflix it can work well. There's no question in my mind that a remote app can be, and some are, done well, just that it's inconvenient to me since I already am often using my iPad/iPhone for something else.
I rarely use my actual remote now. I have an HTC One that has an IR blaster built in and a preinstalled remote app based on Peel. The app gives me TV listings either as text program guide or icons. I don't need to worry about what channel a show is on I just hit the show I want and flashy flash, it's there and for me it's faster, the phone itself is fast switching apps and it's faster than tracking down the remote since 99.999% of the time my phone is closer. There are a few phones that have an IR blaster built in.