The remote control in your hotel room is perhaps the dirtiest thing in the room. For that reason alone, I carry alcohol pads in my briefcase to wipe down the remote when I get to the room, everytime. I also find the hotel TV remote to often have dead batteries. So when I saw that there was an app that turned my smartphone into a TV remote, I was encouraged to try something new and useful.
The free app is called LodgeNet Mobile, available for iPhone and Android. Installation went smoothly, the app looks good. Tonight I arrived at my first hotel room (Four Points, Pleasanton, CA) since downloading the app and it was a LodgeNet system so it was "showtime". The instructions are simple enough.
- Turn on the TV.
- Press "Menu" on the TV remote and select Go Mobile.
- Enter the Connect Code from screen, press Connect.
What started as a great idea was a poor user experience. When something like this fails the first time, you wonder if this is the exception or if poor execution is widespread. I expect the app works but I'm sure it is not easy to coordinate a service like this with so many independent hotels. Luckily I have more alcohol pads in my bag.