Responding to a few use cases here that seem broken to me:
This just happened the other night. In the theater watching a movie. I have a dedicated iPad for Roomie in the theater. I prefer a totally dark room, so I tend to turn off the iPad when watching certain movies. The volume is on 80dB reference level. My wife says she has to go to the bathroom. I tell Alexa to tell Simple Control to pause. She doesn’t hear me. I try again. She doesn’t hear me. So I use my thumbprint to unlock the iPad. Doesn’t recognize it right away. Try again. Finally in and hit pause. During all this the movie is going on and I lose 30 seconds of dialog
The model is that Roomie is on a dedicated iOS device and Guided Access is engaged. Especially in a room called “Theater”. The iPad would never be locked, it is incapable of locking.
I usually yell at Alexa to do this, but again, it’s a shop to she might not hear me because of the size of the space, tools making tool sounds, or because of the music playing. So I have to walk to my desk to pick up my phone to skip.
Seems like an argument for asking us to add a feature to become the iOS media player so you have a set of media controls accessible without unlocking your device right on your lock screen. Adding a hard button remote to that use case seems confusing and wasted.
When I have guests over who stay in my guest room I can’t expect them to install Roomie. I have a complex set up.
This is a known issue we’ve tried to deal with over time. By retaining iOS 12 support, hopefully there are enough spare devices out there to help people dedicate devices. But in the end, the app is only $10 and sharing is now super easy and subscriptions are shared as well, so the cost of adding “guests” is pretty easy. The cost of adding frequent guests like nannies or in-laws is basically solved. Regardless, adding a hard-button remote seems like a very poor solution to this.
@bjs wrote exactly what I requested tho, so that’s good feedback. I just don’t see a path through those use cases that ends up with hard buttons. The best (unstated) argument was to takeover as iOS media controller on the lock screen.
Generically interpreting Bluetooth is not something you can reasonably do on iOS. Certainly, we could create a custom hard button ourselves, it could use Bluetooth, and we could engineer the Bluetooth on that hardware to do what iOS needs, but the reverse is not true. Bluetooth is essentially an OS service that developers only have high level access to. If the OS didn’t imagine a particular use case, it’s going to be a mess. This is why the supported controllers are controllers that iOS is designed to support natively. Adding any old Bluetooth thing is not generally an option. Your note about adding command support via a REST API is certainly doable and we’d consider that if there were a user product that would complete the picture using that solution.
I use ISY/Polyglot to sync my Harmony and Roomie activities.
ISY is extremely technical and probably not a piece of a generalized solution to something here, but this is a great addition showing that users with sufficient dedication to this topic can integrate something here.
they would rather pickup the Harmony-650 remote to control the Home Theater
What happens when you take away the hard button and instead use a dedicated iOS device in guided access for that room? After a week, when they see what Media Guides can do, it’s hard to imagine them going back. Certainly, my family would laugh at a Harmony and throw it out as there are so many things it does not do.
It’s 2020 and we still can’t get a Harmony or URC to emulate […] Please consider it.
You’re phrasing that as if there’s some specific feature we haven’t added. The reason my last post says to " request specific technical features related to it" is that the use cases for this appear to be well-handled by things like dedicated iOS devices, much better handled than using a hard button. So given the remaining hard button use cases, which I would propose is essentially AirBNB style guest access where you can’t provide any real instructions to the guest and they are definitively short-term, I still think the best solution is a dedicated iOS device.
I’m open to realistic features here that are specific. Based on the replies so far though, it has mostly reinforced my belief that the several users strongly interested in this topic have not deployed a dedicated iOS device in Guided Access as the system is envisioned to work.