As I cooked dinner one night downstairs in my split-level house, I needed a recipe from my computer, located in a bedroom all the way upstairs.
Whether out of laziness or convenience, I used an application on my iPad to retrieve it without having to walk up the two flights of stairs. The app, Splashtop Remote Desktop, connected to my desktop computer via my wireless Internet, and once I opened the app and typed in a password, I could view my home computer screen on my iPad and use the tablet to navigate to the recipe file that I needed.
The same app is available as Android or BlackBerry apps as well, so it works as a gateway link between any computer and almost any mobile device, whether an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android smartphone, Android tablet or BlackBerry.
The app's cost ranges from $1.99 to $6.99, depending on what device you're using. Install it on your device, and then use your computer to go online to www.
Using the app, I have accessed my home computer while at work to retrieve documents and looked at files on my hard drive in Oklahoma while on a trip to Asia.
Connecting by remote to another computer is familiar to those who have ever called a customer support help line and had technicians request permission over the phone to access their computers to try to diagnose the problem.
It's neat to be able to do this on a mobile device. To use Remote Desktop, make sure the Splashtop Streamer opens when you turn on your computer so the two machines can “talk” when you need them. Lately, I have had a few problems with error messages that tell me my device can't communicate with my computer, so success isn't always guaranteed. However, much of the time the app works as planned. The first screen I see each time explains which fingers and motions I need to use to control my computer, which is handy.
When you go to the website to download the companion streamer, take a look at the other apps that Splash
Splashtop Whiteboard, which turns your iPad into an interactive whiteboard; Splashtop Remote Browser, which makes it possible to view Adobe Flash files streamed from the computer to your device; and Splashtop XDisplay, which lets you use your device to extend your computer monitor.
For more apps or links to these apps, go online to blog.