Remote desktop applications are a popular category in the App Store, but many of the solutions often involve confusing download instructions or a clunky interface. If you’re looking for a fairly pain-free setup, consider the following iPad apps, which are all free and can connect to your desktop computer with minimal hassle.
PocketCloud Remote Desktop is one of several cloud-based business products Dell’s Wyse offers. The company’s business credentials are clearly in play here by creating a solid remote desktop tool.
Instead of going through the highly annoying process of creating another online account, PocketCloud lets you sign in with a Google account. The app will then patiently wait while you download the desktop component. Setup for this portion is just as simple: enter your Google account and then wait for PocketCloud to connect through Wi-Fi. The only additional step will be adding in your OS X Keychain or Windows credentials depending upon the security settings on your computer.
When using PocketCloud, free in the App Store, pinch and zoom to focus on specific aspects of the desktop screen. There is a virtual mouse button as well as a keyboard entry tool and file browser for easy transfer of data back and forth between your iPad and computer.
This app is part of a larger suite of remote and cloud-based solutions geared towards businesses. PocketCloud also offers a version of this app for Android devices and the iPhone for those looking to connect with an alternate device.
Splashtop is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to producing cloud and remote apps for tablets, with a substantial number of apps for iOS and Android devices that enable remote connectivity.
If you just want a simple remote connection, Splashtop 2 will do the job. For further functionality, there are a few upgrade possibilities. An enhanced toolset of on-screen shortcuts, gamepads and hot keys can be had for $0.99 per month or $9.99 annually. To access your computer remotely from any location, opt for the Anywhere Access Pack, which is $1.99 monthly or $16.99 annually.
LogMeIn also offers a fairly hassle-free path to connecting your computer. There’s a robust file storage system that allows for copying and sharing folders and files amongst computers or other connected devices (free in the App Store). The interface allows you to drag and drop multiple documents or folders and move them where you wish.
Additionally, LogMeIn has a Pro service that’s tiered to connecting up to 25 computers or tablets within a company. Prices begin at $69.95 per device, but drop as low as $39.96 depending on how many devices you connect.
With the free version, you get 2GB of free cloud storage with options to upgrade to LogMeIn’s cubby service. It seeks a solution that competes with DropBox, Box and other services by offering unlimited versioning of files and “cubby locks,” which protect files with a user-held encryption key.
While TeamViewer HD does a solid job of connecting to the desktop with a responsive interface, it also contains several signature features designed to appeal to businesses. Enterprise features include remote maintenance along with support for file transfers and remote printing.
By granting TeamViewer access to the camera roll, you can use the service to email files or copy them to your main computer. One nice advantage is that business plans are a one-time license, eliminating any annual or monthly fees (though they begin at $749 per device).
While designed primarily for education, Doceri does an admirable job of enabling quick remote access for personal use.
The free version of the application includes the same features as the pro model, which is $29 for the lifetime license. The main advantage of the upgrade is that it eliminates the watermark that Doceri places on screen during a presentation. For this task, Doceri has several pens, highlighters and other tools for marking and highlighting content on the screen in real time.
For personal desktop remote use, Doceri allows quick connection by generating an on-screen QR code. Just hold up the iPad and Doceri will then connect to your device. The Doceri team is very active on social media, so connecting with them for support can be as simple as pinging the @TeamDoceri Twitter account.
Widespread marketing in the pre-iPad era introduced consumers to the potential wonders of remotely accessing your desktop on a notebook computer, and GoToMyPC is synonymous with networking in to your device.
GoToMyPC brings that same connectivity to your iPad. In order to account for the limited preciseness involved in navigating a desktop screen with one’s fingers, the app promises up to 300% zooming capability. Citrix offers a 30-day trial, and regular access is $9.95 per month.