Source: TechNTrack.org | See also How to get FaceTime for Windows
As the processing power of mobile phones increases, so do their capabilities. One such capability has a lot of potential and that is accessing your PCs content with your device. Whether your only upstairs or halfway across the country, it is becoming easier and easier to access almost all of your computers properties through remote access. Even though the concept has been around for a number of years, lately companies have been trying to get a firm foothold of the market, which is great for the consumer as it leads to some great applications fighting to be the best.
If we first look at the remote mouse app by Apple, this has the ability of turning your handheld device into a multi-faceted remote control for your computer. Easily installable and connecting through Wi-Fi, the remote mouse app allows the user do away with their small and fiddly laptop mouse pads and use their wider screened and intuitive device to navigate easily around their content. The app also has specific panels designed for films, music and even presentations. This app is a simple one, but one done right. It allows for certain actions to be done much quicker and the interface is sleek and easy to use. However, it is only a mouse, the user cannot see what he is navigating unless the monitor is in sight to which some users may say it’s a bit unnecessary. Sure, it’s nice being able to control your computer from the other side of the room, but for most people this would likely become old pretty quick. But seeing as though it’s free, you can’t really go wrong with this app.
When compared with the windows variant, aptly named ‘Microsoft Remote Desktop’ we see a lot of similarities. Another intuitive interface which has a wide array of features but is still easy to use and a remarkably small amount of latency when using even some of the most processor intensive software, this app has obviously been well researched and implemented to the features users are most interested in. Contrarily, whilst the app has received generally positive reviews, there are still improvements to be made. Most users are annoyed at the fact you can only connect to one computer at once and the fact there is not multiple monitor support are minor problems, but this is something Microsoft have said they are looking into as they intend to improve on each version. This is something to bear in mind that the app is still fairly new and is likely only to get better with each release.
Now we’ve looked at the product of two giant companies, its time to look at one of the leading apps in TeamViewer. Supported across all of the major platforms, TeamViewer is a free remote desktop accessor which has arguably the most features of all of it’s counterparts, such as wake-on-LAN which can be utilised to awake a hibernating computer and then put it back into hibernation once the accessor is finished, multiple party collaborations, copy and pasting (which most others don’t actually support) and fast and efficient file transferring. So with all of these great features, where does it fall short? The biggest worry about TeamViewer is it’s privacy settings, there is a large contingent online who believe the terms and conditions of the software allow for their on-goings to looked at and analysed too closely but a large part of this is due to an automation system detecting what and who the software is being used by just for product research. In a day and age where people are very apprehensive about their data being shared, this could be a big deal. Other than this however, the software itself is close to flawless.
Finally, SplashTop. This tool gets most of its notoriety from its reputation of streaming video and audio across multiple devices with seemingly perfect results. So, say you wanted to watch a movie stored on your desktop hard drive, on your iPad, this is what SplashTop excels in. Of course it can do much of the same thing as its competitors, it’s just arguably not quite as good lacking in those subtle features of its rivals that leaves it just behind them. For example, connecting to another computer takes a bit more work on the side of the client than TeamViewer or Microsofts variant. It also costs money to access your devices not on your network, which is essentially the whole point of remote access. SplashTop has strong points where it is really is strong such as the multimedia spectrum but as for everywhere else, users are better off going elsewhere.
To say which one really is the best, depends on the user. As most are all similar in terms of functionality and competency, it might come down to the interface or subtle features that sway a user to that software. The best thing someone can do is try different ones out and see what sticks as each one has its nuances. Someone may like the accessibility of Microsofts version but need to connect to multiple computers which it cannot do but TeamViewer, however TeamViewer may be a bit too complex for someone who just wants to control their computer from across the film for multimedia viewing where Apples remote mouse is simple yet effective. It might be cliché but each has their pros and cons, it’s for the user to find out which one is for them.