Using iPhone or iPod Touch as Wireless Mouse

If you’re handling a presentation or just lounging at home watching a movie or listening to some music, it’s not always the most convenient to get up and walk over to your computer to change the station, the volume, click to the next slide, etc. It would be nice to have a little remote, wouldn’t it?

Enter RemoteMouse. It’s a handy little app you can install on your iPhone or iPod Touch, and even your iPad, to enable the mobile device to work as a wireless remote for your computer. This doesn’t just connect to Macs, either. It can connect to Windows as well. While it only promotes working on OS X prior to Mountain Lion, I found it to work fine on the latest version of the OS. It also works with Android.

Note: Android users can find the alternative here.

RemoteMouse-Manual

I wasn’t clear on what the difference was between the paid version and the free version, so I started with the obvious choice, free. After I downloaded it to my iPhone and opened the app, it offered me a choice of reading through the manual or skipping that option. I opted to read the manual, but it’s nice to know it’s a step I can skip if I am reinstalling or installing on a separate device. Everything was laid out for me there in the manual. There was no guessing.

RemoteMouse-AutoStart

The next step is to download it to your computer from the website. They do warn that the computer and device need to be using WiFi on the same network, or using the same router. Opening up the app, it’s a quick install. On the Mac it went directly into my menu bar. It gave me the choice of enabling the app automatically or manually. If you don’t plan to use it often, the choice is clear to do it manually, but if it’s something you will be using regularly, automatically is probably the smart choice here.

RemoteMouse-Connect

Going back to my iPhone, I exited out of the manual, and it brought me to the Connect screen. This offers you a choice of either doing an Auto Connect or putting in your computer’s IP address and manually connecting. I chose to Auto Connect, and it worked, connecting me very quickly.

RemoteMouse-Keyboard

After you are connected to your computer, the app offers a QWERTY keyboard and a three-button mouse. Moving around on the green part of the screen allows you to move the mouse on the computer screen. Simply touching the screen is the same as clicking the mouse, and touching with two fingers is the same as the right-hand button on the mouse. Sliding two fingers on the screen is like sliding the mouse roller.

RemoteMouse-Extend

There are more ways to use the app, but you have to buy the paid version. If you turn your phone to the left on the paid version, it will give you an extended keyboard in landscape view with arrows, F-keys, etc. If you turn your phone to the right, it will give you a trackpad. I do wish the app would have informed me that that was the difference between free and unpaid. It was a guessing game until that point.

Regardless, even the paid version for a $1.99 for the iPhone/iPod Touch app, and $2.99 for the iPad app, is still worth it if you’re a person who finds yourself at a distance away from your computer and still wanting to control it.