This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. If we can use our iOS devices as remotes for desktop computers, and if we can run desktop computer screens remotely from another computer, why not run desktop computer screens remotely with an iOS device? Researching it, I found there are many apps claiming to do this, both free, paid, and with a subscription.
In my research, I discounted a certain selection of the apps right off the bat, as they only worked with Windows, and I work on all Apple products. The Splashtop app claims to be the only app that will do everything remotely. Many of them don’t do sound, but this does, as well as flash. This means all those things you can’t do on your iPad or iPhone, you can now do if you run your computer remotely. Even better yet, it was on sale for $2.99.
After downloading the Splashtop app on the iOS device, it asks you to download the “Splashtop Streamer” app on your desktop computer. It comes up with the same message seen above. It made it seem like you had to make up a security code and install it on both. Instead, what they are asking you to do is to create the code and install it on the desktop, then insert it in the app a few screens later.
At this point, you will have a list of available computers you are networked to. In my case, I was only connecting to this one computer in the network, but I just might add the one my daughter uses as well.
If you’re having trouble finding your computer in the listing of available desktops, there is a link in the bottom right that says, “How Do I Find My Computer?” Clicking this brings up a screen that explains how to locate the computer. It gives you tips on finding it on your local network, as well as finding it via the Internet. To use this option, you’ll need to connect the service to your Gmail account.
Once you are fully connected, a Hints screen explaining how to adapt the Lions finger gestures for the iPad experience appears. You can opt to have this show every time or never again.
Once you have the desktop “live” on your iOS device, you have an option of having the “special” keys, such as Alt, Command, Fn-keys, arrows, etc., in a pop-up row along the bottom of the screen. I use a keyboard/cover with my iPad, and I find that I can’t use all those keys on my keyboard with this app, and sometimes have to use them on the bottom row. Additionally, when I re-enter the app, I sometimes have trouble getting the editing/typing to begin working again until I pop up that bottom row of special keys.
At first it seemed as if I didn’t have the top menu bar available to me in this app, then I realized I just had to scroll around to find it. I normally keep my Dock hidden until I need it, but found it difficult to use it in Splashtop then, so I just made it visible all the time.
By the time I submit this article, I will have done the whole thing from my iPad, when normally I would have only been able to do half of it before switching to my MacBook. I would be able to do it from my iPhone too, but doing this via such a small screen would drive me crazy. There are definitely things that could have made this process easier, such as being able to switch from app to app, and by that I mean on my iPad, not my Mac. You can switch, but you have to log in and start all over again. However, all in all, it still helps to make the process just a little easier.