iPad: Going remote

Anthony Caruana
27 December, 2010
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Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you have to be away from the office. This month, we take a look at ways you can stay in control, even when you’re thousands of kilometres away.

iTeleport ($23.99)

iTeleport (pictured) is a great application. Utilising the VNC protocols, this app makes it easy to connect to a Mac remotely and take over the screen. We use it extensively when inside our network to control servers and workstations as it hooks into OS X’s Screen Sharing, without any effort.

When connected, we can click on objects, control applications – pretty much anything we can do locally, we can do using iTeleport. Access from the internet to our desktop did require some tweaking in our router.

To fit a high resolution display onto the iPad’s smaller screen, iTeleport scales objects. However, using the iPad’s gesture-driven interface, it’s easy to zoom in and out and move around the screen. Our only quibble was that iTeleport didn’t rotate when we changed the iPad’s orientation.

LogMeIn Ignition ($36.99)

LogMeIn Ignition lets you connect to your office Mac, or any other computer, without doing any router configuration. In order to use LogMeIn you’ll need to create an account on their website and then install a small client application on your Mac.

You can do this to as many different Macs and PCs as you like at no charge with the free version of LogMeIn.

Once your desktop machines are done and you have installed LogMeIn Ignition, remote access is a snap. Start LogMeIn Ignition, log in to your account and a list of systems you’re able to access is displayed. Choose the system you wish to control and a few seconds later you can type, tap and do whatever you like to that system.

As it runs over the internet, performance can be a little sluggish but you can easily change settings so that you reduce the resolution of the remote system or only render a greyscale version to the iPad in order to use limited bandwidth more effectively. You can easily zoom in and out using the familiar iOS pinch gestures.

Server Admin Remote ($14.99)

If you’re running a Snow Leopard Server, being able to remotely manage it from your iPad is very handy and far more practical if you’re on the go and don’t have your MacBook or a client system at hand with the Server Admin tools installed.

Server Admin Remote is designed to provide a snapshot of your OS X server. At first glance, it looks like an iPad version of Apple’s Server Admin application. However, a closer look reveals that it suffers from some significant limitations.

For starters, not every service that was running on our server was being reported on the iPad. The Address Book, Push Notification and SMB services weren’t shown on the main screen and we couldn’t add them.

For the services that were running, we could only see their current state, start and stop the service and review logs. We could also look at active processes and kill them. Handy if there’s a fault but if we needed to alter a setting or tweak some configuration, there was no way to do it.

Apple Remote (free)

A recent update to Apple’s Remote application – which allows you to remotely manage iTunes – has brought it into the iPad world. It’s great.

You can use Home Sharing to connect to the library or Remote will find shared libraries on your network and let you enter a four-digit PIN into iTunes to make the connection.

The one thing we’d really like isn’t supported – the ability to stream content from iTunes to our iPad. Given that EyeTV lets us do this with live TV and recorded shows, we’re left scratching our heads as to why Apple’s app can’t do it.

This article originally appeared in the December issue of Australian Macworld magazine.

[Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_caruana]

One Comment

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  1. Jahanzeb Sherwani says:


    I’m one of the authors of iTeleport — thanks for a great review! I just wanted to point out that the app does support rotation — you may have inadvertently enabled the Rotation Lock option in the options page for the server. When connected, tap the gear icon to get to the options page and make sure Rotation Lock is disabled — that should fix it.


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