Remote control your computer from your iPad

Some say that the iPad is a magic­al device. I won’t go that far, but it is kinda cool, though it does have its short­com­ings — espe­cially when you com­pare it to a desktop or laptop com­puter. There are just many things done much bet­ter on a com­puter than on an iPad, which is why it’s neat that there’s com­puter remote con­trol soft­ware for the iPad.

One of the easi­est I’ve found to use is Log­MeIn Igni­tion. Part of the Log­MeIn fam­ily, Igni­tion lives on your iPad (or iPhone, or iPod Touch, or Android) and allows you to con­trol any com­puter you’ve registered with the Log­MeIn ser­vice.

Here’s how the pro­cess works:
1. Get a free Log­MeIn account
2. Install Log­MeIn Free cli­ent soft­ware on every PC/Mac you want to con­trol
3. Register those com­puters with your Log­MeIn account inform­a­tion

If you stop here, you now have the abil­ity to con­trol any of your registered com­puters from any oth­er registered com­puter (that’s run­ning the cli­ent soft­ware), or through the Log­MeIn web inter­face (which is very slick!).

4. Install the LogMeIn:Ignition cli­ent on your iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad

And you’re done. You can now con­trol any of your com­puters via your iPad.


It’s a man­aged ser­vice, not a dir­ect con­nec­tion
The Log­MeIn ser­vice is a bit dif­fer­ent from oth­er remote con­trol soft­ware applic­a­tions as it’s really a  hos­ted ser­vice that sits between your iPad and the com­puter you want to con­trol — it man­ages the con­nec­tion between your devices.

The Log­MeIn applic­a­tion main­tains know­ledge of the vari­ous con­nec­tions, and when you want to con­nect to one of your sys­tems, fig­ures out the best way to do it and makes the con­nec­tion. Simple.


It’s like being there…sort of
Once you’ve made the con­nec­tion, any­thing you can do while sit­ting at your com­puter, you can do through the remote con­trol con­nec­tion.

One caveat; Since the dis­play has to be sent to the remote device, screen refreshes are at the mercy of your Inter­net con­nec­tion. Don’t try to play video­games or watch video through Log­MeIn: Igni­tion. It can be done, but it’ll be like watch­ing a very slow slideshow. :smileyhappy: Oh, and the audio will only play on the remote com­puter — which could freak out the cats or oth­er res­id­ents if they’re not expect­ing the com­puter to start doing things on its own. :smileyhappy:

One oth­er thing. Mov­ing files between the remote com­puter and the iPad is not sup­por­ted in Igni­tion — but there’s a very easy work­around for that. Simply install Drop­box (what? You’re not using Drop­box yet?) on all your com­puters and on the iPad. Then, use Drop­box to man­age the file trans­fer amongst devices.

Impress Mom and Dad

Ok, sure, remote com­puter con­trol isn’t for every­one. But if you’re the tech­ie in your fam­ily and you’re the one who sup­ports your parent’s com­put­ing exper­i­ence, then LogMeIn:Ignition may make the job easi­er for you, espe­cially if you are likely to be doing it from vari­ous loc­a­tions or hard­ware.

This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.

Published by Brad Grier geek.hack