Although brand new to the U.S., Tado is a thermostat specifically made for air conditioners with remotes that adds WiFi control. Very popular in Europe (4 stars at Amazon UK). I think it’s worth looking at for landlords. Cost is about $200, but ease of installation is worth something. (global cache, a general IR blaster, is only $50, but you don’t get the thermostat app.)
Make sure you can return it if you don’t like it, but I really like this as a plug and play solution.
Doesn’t integrate with SmartThings, but that may be OK. Especially if the alternative is a non networked a/c.
The biggest drawback is the same as any IR remote–you need one per room.
Anyway, I expect to see more networked a/c s on the market by summer 2016, so it also depends if you can wait.
Personally, I like the Tado much better than the Quirky Aros. The Aros has good controls, but the a/c itself seems like a really cheap unit. VERY loud.
With the “Tado Cooling” device, you use any a/c you want that has a remote, you’re just adding a second wallmount remote that acts as a WiFi bridge. So the Tado is a little pricey, which is why I recommend waiting if you can. There will be more choices next year. But if you need something now, I like this one.
A solution I’m less enthusiastic about is ThinkEco. Does NOT work as a remote–you plug your a/c into this, and the gadget hotwires it to turn it on and off same as you would if you pulled the plug out of the wall. That can be very hard on the compressor, my main concern. It retails for about $150, but some cities, including NYC and San Antonio, will give it to you free if you sign up for a brown out program where the city gets to turn off your a/c if they have rolling brown outs. It’s been around for a few years, but not popular outside of the giveaway programs, probably because of the compressor issue. Also, ThinkEco requires that you have a PC running 24/7. Really feels like a 20th century solution.
The Tado approach is much more elegant engineering, so to me, the extra $50 is well worth it.