You’re on the go with your iPad. You’ve left your Mac at home and you remember you need a critical file—something you didn’t store in Dropbox—or need to do some other task that can only be done on your machine at home. What do you do? Go home? Call someone? How about just logging into your Mac from your iPad?
Wait, what is this magic you speak of?
Actually, it’s not magic and there are several remote access solutions around that can help you out of this jam. Screens, LogMeIn, and Splashtop all let you get back to your Mac quickly and easily. I hadn’t tried any of the solutions before, although there have been several times when I’ve been at home even and needed something from my Mac and wished I didn’t have to get up to do it, but this review of Splashtop got me interested in trying. Okay that and it’s on sale right now for $4.99.
After installing the application on my iPad and installing the helper program on my Mac, I fired it up at home. After putting in my secret code on my iPad…ta-da!…I could see and interact with my Mac. This was cool, and amazing, but (relatively) easy. Connecting to my Mac from my iPad on the same network. Now, the real challenge is connecting to my Mac from my iPad…over the Internet (e.g. at work).
A lot of remote access applications require you to set up dynamic DNS another or other Internet trickeries to make sure your computer at home (and usually behind a router with a firewall) can be found. Apple uses your Apple ID tied in with iCloud to make Back to Your Mac work (oh and it does work wonderfully), Splashtop Remote Desktop uses your Google ID to pull off the same feat. The result? This:
Yep my Mac at home, as viewed on my iPad. That little thing in the lower right-hand corner is how you get to a keyboard and other features (like switching between the two displays).
Is it amazing? Oh yeah.
Worth $5? Totally.
How often will you use it? Maybe not tons, but knowing I have it available is great.
My example is connecting from my iPad to a Mac, but you can also install the Splashtop helper application on a PC and remotely control a Windows machine as well. Now imagine all the things you can do…send something to print at home. Start an application you need. Use an application you need (like Photoshop or something).
Nifty, easy, and worth it.