Have you ever had to borrow a friend's phone to call someone, only to not have that person answer the unknown number? PPLConnect's Hotel My Phone app aims to solve that problem. Described by its creators as an "Airbnb for your phone," this free Android and iOS app lets you check-in to another person's device, access your own contacts and call and text using your own number.
Once you've registered your number with Hotel My Phone, you can begin hosting other users on your device, or log-in to a friend's device as a guest for up to four hours at a time. The app's clean blue-and-orange interface displays your recent messages on the left, any "Hotels" in your network on your left and a big "Hotel My Phone" icon in the center for when you want to share your device.
I experienced Hotel My Phone firsthand during a pre-release demo session with a member of the PPLConnect team, who was able to text back and forth with me while logged into the app on someone else's phone. Our conversation appeared in his inbox when he finally returned to his own phone, so you shouldn't have to worry about losing any important messages you send or receive while borrowing another device.
When you're done borrowing your friend's phone, you can rate your "stay" just as you would with an actual hotel. Any of your contacts that have the app become Hotels in your personal network, which you can check-in to for free. Checking in to any out-of-network device costs 1 credit (valued at about $1), while texts cost a tenth of a credit and calls cost roughly .03 credits per minute.
PPLConnect promises that the information of both the host and guest is secured during a Hotel My Phone session, but even so, the company encourages people to only use the app among friends. Based on what we've seen so far, Hotel My Phone seems like a reliable solution for getting in touch with loved ones when your battery is dead or left at home, though anything more than a few texts or calls will eventually cost you.