APP OF THE DAY - Splashtop Remote (iPad)
As one Pocket-lint reader pointed out on a different story, there are better remote desktop applications available on iTunes than the following. Some of them have greater resolution support. Some of them work for Mac. Some of them will even operate without computer software having to also be installed.
However, ALL of them are much, much more expensive than...
Currently available for 59p, Splashtop Remote is by far the cheapest way to remotely control your PC desktop. By that, we mean that it will act as a window and pointing device, with your home computer running the software and its processor handling the hard work.
It's compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 and, once a server client has been downloaded and installed on the PC in question, it can access pretty much any software you have. There are limitations; for example, programmes need to be run in window mode as Splashtop Remote doesn't work with full-screen applications.
And it's limited to (at maximum) the iPad's native resolution of 1024 x 768 (which it automatically switches to). But it can be hooked-up from a different location to your home network, such as a hotel or Internet cafe, as long as a port has been forwarded on your router, and the PC has a static IP address.
We couldn't get it to work with 3G at present, although the developer suggests that it should do. But Wi-Fi connectivity is a doddle to set-up.
The biggest advantage of the app that we can see, apart from allowing you to play certain games remotely, is the fact that it'll play any kind of media running on a computer. So, as long as your PC has the right codecs and software installed, you will be able to view Java and Flash-based video on the web, MKV files through Windows Media Player (for example), and anything else that the iPad is famed for having trouble with.
You can also use Word, Power Point, Outlook, Photoshop or any other PS utilities. And iTunes runs smoothly.
One gripe is that video can sometimes lag - it is, after all, streaming through your router, so there are limitations attached to that. But you can reduce the video quality to improve performance with the twist of two fingers on the screen.
Other than that, it's a very pleasant experience.
Yes, there are more fully-featured alternatives out there, such as iTeleport and Logmein. And if you plan to use remote access professionally or for more serious gaming exploits, you are best looking in their direction. However, they all cost between £8.99-£17.99, and some even charge further for continued link up. Splashtop Remote is, currently, 59p. It's worth a dabble at least.