Surely there has been a time where you’ve needed to control your computer when you don’t have physical access to it (also known as a remote connection). Maybe you forgot to email yourself a document or maybe you wanted to start downloading a file so it’s complete when you’re finally back at your computer. There are 1001 reasons to connect to your computer remotely and it couldn’t be easier using the LogMeIn Ignition iPhone app. Using the app, you can easily control all of your computers, whether Mac or PC, from anywhere! The best part is how easy it was to set up. There is no need to tweak router settings, forward ports, or fiddle around with IP addresses.
LogMeIn was designed for even the least tech-savvy of us to use. Here was the process….
Step 1: Go to LogMeIn website and click Create Account
Step 2: Select the “Product Group” and choose “LogMeIn Access, Management and Networking”
Step 3: Enter in the usual information: name, email, password, country etc… and click Create
Step 4: Choose ‘Add this Computer’ and install the file
Step 5: Log in from LogMeIn Ignition on your iPhone
Step 6: That’s It!
There are some other settings and preferences you can tweak, but that’s all it takes to set up an easy to use and safe connection. After those 6 steps you’re ready to control your computer from virtually anywhere with your iPhone (over WiFi or 3G) or iPod Touch (over WiFi). You can even control your computer from any web browser. LogMeIn will run quietly in the background on your computer. It will display a transparent overlay to alert you of any active connections. Once again, there are no advanced router settings to fuss around with to get this to work.
Once you sign in to the app with your email and LogMeIn password you will see a list of your computers and their online/offline status. To login to one of your computers just click it’s name and enter in the log in info specific to that computer (LogMeIn will remember these credentials if you choose). At this point you will see your computer screen….on your iPhone….from anywhere…updating in real-time. It’s a beautiful thing. By default the mouse is always in the center of the iPhone screen and you use your finger to move the computer display (rather than moving the mouse). My recommendation is to change the default control setting so the mouse will move with your finger. It works very similarly to how your laptop touchpad works. Tap the screen to click, double tap to double click, two finger tap to right click, and use three fingers to scroll up and down (like a mouse scroll wheel). You can adjust mouse sensitivity, and the size of the screen on your phone, by pinching and zooming. There are a set of buttons on the bottom of the iPhone screen including disconnect, keyboard, right click/left click toggle, zoom, settings, alt-tab, and ctrl-alt-del. The keyboard button brings up the regular iPhone keyboard on the bottom half of the screen along with a row of other keyboard buttons not included on the iPhone keyboard.
I expected the control over WiFi (same network as computer) to be pretty smooth and fluid, and it certainly was. However, I did not expect the control over 3G to be almost nearly as fluid. It doesn’t react quite as quickly, but it comes very close. If I hover my mouse over an icon from my iPhone over 3g the tooltip pops up in under a second. You can also adjust the display resolution on Ignition. So if you find it’s too laggy, you can just lower the res, which will speed it up a bit.
I’ve said it a couple times now, and I’ll say it once more: this app could not be easier to get up and running to control your Mac or PC remotely. The downside however, is that you’re certainly paying the price for the ease of use at $29.99. So it’s certainly one of the most expensive apps you may ever buy, but it very well might be one of the most useful. If you have a need for remotely controlling your computer(s) it will pay for itself rather quickly.
One feature I did not mention is LogMeIn ignition will also function as a pretty nice mouse and keyboard combo for your computer. This is great for media centers. Over WiFi the mouse movements are pretty smooth, although I will say they could be smoother. If you’re looking for just a mouse and keyboard combo to control your computer over WiFi you can use TouchPad Elite ($.99), which I highly recommend, or the Logitech Touch Mouse (free), which I’ve never tried. All in all I’m very excited that I have LogMeIn Ignition running on my iPhone; and I cannot wait to start using it on an iPad, controlling my computer with a big beautiful multi-touch screen.
The Good: Easy to set-up, easy to use, works with both PCs and Macs, very responsive over wi-fi
The Bad: Slight lag over 3G, $29.99 is much pricier than most iPhone apps