As the Internet and TV converge in living rooms, lots of folks, including the New York Times, have been drooling over the idea of smartphones as next-gen remotes. On the surface, this seems like a cool idea. After all, smart mobile devices have touch screens, keyboards, and all sorts of other bells and whistles that should equal an enhanced, enjoyable smart-TV experience.
Once you scratch the surface, however, you soon realize what a terrible and impractical idea an app-enabled smartphone remote really is.
It's kind of like wanting to see Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in the same film. At first it sounds great: two horror-movie icons in one great slasher epic. What's not to love about that? But once the movie shows up, you realize that Freddy and Jason are cool and all, but they probably shouldn't be forced into a shared (and regrettable) experience.
Here, then, are nine reasons your smart device is a lousy TV remote.
9. It's still a phone A phone that changes the channel on my television. I admit, that is cool. But what happens if someone calls me during my smartphone-as-smart-remote-dress-up-party? A big bucket of terrible, that's what happens.
Do I miss the call? Do I pause the TV? Do I take the call and leave the program temporarily remote-less? As much as I hate my cable remote, it never interrupts my show with a call from a telemarketer.
8. Battery life Using your phone as a remote eats up your battery faster than Homer Simpson can eat a doughnut. Mmmmmm, doughnuts. Even the New York Times points out "the toll [remote control apps] took on [a phone's] battery."
7. A phone is a personal device The phone is first and foremost a device built for one person. Sure, in the bad old days, you had to call into a switchboard and have an operator connect your call, but these days the smartphone is a bicycle built for one. … Read more