Free app for guests!

I love the Logitech Harmony Link, but since that’s discontinued I’m looking for a replacement. With the Logitech Harmony Link the app is free, so I would have family and friends download the free app and they could control my equipment when visiting.

I purchased the Roomie remote. I have family who want to use Roomie, relatives visit for a week, or I have friends over I want to let them control my system. They each have to pay! Or I have to give my iTunes account and password for their devices and their devices get tied into my account.

You should have a free app that anybody can download to be able to control my setup without being able to edit it and without having to have my iTunes credentials on their iPhone/iPad.


Great Idea… Would be extremely helpful…

This would rule, not just for guests, but family members. My wife and two kids should be able to control the system themselves. How about a lite version with the following features?

Up to three devices in trial mode for two weeks
After the trial, upgrade via in-app purchase
Trial mode permits importing a remote configuration via dropbox in read-only mode

I’m a big fan of Roomie Remote, and wanted to suggest that I believe the real ‘missing link’ from the Roomie ecosystem is a free version of the remote that could be provisioned by a local instance of the Roomie Agent or by other means. When comparing Roomie to other options, Roomie is superior in configuration, IP control, and its lack of dependence on proprietary hardware. Where it is lacking in this comparison is in the lack of local control by physical remotes. This, I believe, is where a complimentary app that can be freely downloaded from the App Store and provisioned once connected to the local network could fill this gap. Possible uses include house guests, babysitters, etc. with their own iOS devices.

I’m interested in your thoughts, or alternatives, if you’ve already thought about this.

I like this as well.

We frequently have house sitters and a free app that would only work in the presence of Roomie Agent would make my life MUCH simpler. This should be possible.

Please address Roomie’s only weakness!

couldn’t you actually use the sitters device to log onto your app store account- download the app - restore purchases - sync from dropbox and give them exactly what you have. Make sure you log off your account and if you don’t want them to edit etc. use a password they don’t know. Basically it would only be of use to them in your home if they cannot edit the configuration.


I see some conversation here and that is good. In my mind, building out an ecosystem, like the proposed ‘free’ version of Roomie, is what separates functional solutions from premium solutions.

@hgmobile, why make it so hard to jump through hoops? The idea provided by the op in this thread makes this much easier for end users.


I would like to have guests who visit be able to control my setup, but im not doing that every time someone visits.

It’s an interesting idea. One downside of a “free” app that does nothing without other elements of a Roomie ecosystem such as requiring Roomie Agent or full Roomie on the network is that everybody and their extended family, quite literally in this case, will end up downloading it, not reading instructions, thinking it doesn’t work as the standalone remote they thought it would be from a screenshot or an icon, and 1-starring the app still never having realized anything about what “Roomie Remote Guest” was intended to do. The notion that downloaders of free apps actually read the product description is sadly comical. For $10, most people read the description. At $0, few do.

It’s the reason we charge $10 for Roomie’s base app rather than just make it free with 1 IP device and then make the Home Theater Pack $30 instead of $20 (which has always been what I would have preferred). If there’s no bouncer at the door, the amount of people that download and have no idea which way is up is really crazy.

Obvious examples (of many thousands) include the Facebook and WSJ apps. Those are both objectively great apps. Yet, due to some bug that afflicted perhaps 0.001% of their users, that’s more than enough with a free app to get hundreds of 1-stars in a very short period, which repeats with basically every version they ever release. Similarly, a free version of Roomie that was heavily restricted in some way like that would be like flypaper for the non-reading crowd.

This doesn’t mean we wont do it. I could suddenly decide this is what we want to do next week. I’m attracted by the fact that it would be quite straightforward to create such a product and it would generally be a fun idea and a great way to introduce friends and relatives to the pure awesome that is Roomie.

But the App Store is a wild and crazy place with some ugly aspects and a lot of factors we’d otherwise want to ignore.

We’ll consider it. Thanks,

My solution to this was to buy a second hand device that is our dedicated family room remote. This solves all of our issues that we’ve encountered since going to roomie…the guest issue, the “i left my phone at work” issue, the “someone stole my phone and now I can’t watch tv” issue, the “my guests are android users” issue, and about a dozen other scenarios.

How about a version that would only load a fixed configuration, supporting no changes at all. Essentially a read-only version. Make it able to use ALL of the functionality without having to load the added packs. This way adding more users to a configuration wouldn’t be a budget issue.

Make it $5, which seems entirely reasonable for what it offers.

@wmblanken not everyone see’s buying a 200-300 dedicated device as a solution. Its great you found a solution. What happens in 2-3 years when those old i pad’s start becoming slow and obsolete, then you need to upgrade to a new dedicated? With a phone were always upgrading our phones on a contract. Also roomie controls my house, if my parents visit and my dad wants to watch downstairs and my mom upstairs, im not buying 2 devices.


I just think this feature is to important to your current user base who supports you to ignore because of possible feedback ratings from new customers, and this could open many doors from a marketing standpoint. If you have family visit this lets them control your setup, babysitters, divorced parents who have kids visit over summer, the possibilities are endless. And cyberlewis is spot on with ecosystem comment. Roomie is for ios and apple is all about flexibility in their own ecosystem, and giving users who visit access to your system perfectly fits that sharing ecosystem.


I wouldnt have issues if this feature costed a one time fee of 5 dollars or something either, some might not feel that way though. But then i would like to give anyone i want access to my system setup. Freinds, family, ect…

This is a great idea. I know my friends and family would download a free, locked, app and after using it would likely want to know how to do that at their houses. Good for me. Good for Roomie.

I’ve already seen it with my Denon app that comes with my AVR-X3000. As soon as they sent a song from their iPhone to my whole house system, they want it too.

Good points on both sides of the argument. Keep in mind that the overall cost structure of Roomie is inexpensive, in relative terms, so just buying a copy for a guest which they might not use again really isn’t prohibitively expensive.

(Anyone that has priced a Crestron, Control 4, or other home automation/control systems knows what I mean - and don’t even try to edit or modify the configurations unless you are a dealer and have the ilusive ‘integrator/developer kit’ that us end-users cannot buy.)

For those that go down the route of buying a dedicated iPad Mini to use as the coffee table or “house” remote, take a look at the Apple “Guided Access” feature. It lets you lock the iPad into a single app which cannot be exited. You can also exclude any part of the UI, I’ve set it up with a “blockout” on the “settings” link so visitors cannot play with the configuration at all.

I don’t have a Mac running, so the “prevent editing” option is not strong enough. I really wish a four-digit lockcode could be used without needing Roomie Agent as in my particular configuration I don’t have a requirement for a Mac for any other function.

With a lockcode password, I would not have to use the iPad Guided Access as a workaround so visitors could run IMDB, browse the web, and do other things on the guest iPad without any privacy or security issues since I don’t keep email or other personal configuration on the “coffee table” iPad that everyone is allowed to use.

Summary: Feature request to allow the four-digit lockcode/passcode to be used on a Roomie without the need for Mac-based Roomie Agent for guest/visitor access.