Best iPad App for Remote Desktop Access: LogMeIn Ignition
LogMeIn Ignition by LogMeIn Solutions for the iPad (and iPhone) allows you to remotely control your PC or MAC from your mobile device. You control the remote computer via a virtual keyboard /mouse and the app support multiple monitors. The App allows you to do much more than just controlling your computer as if you were sitting in front of it. LogMeIn Ignition allows you to transfer, view, and save files and folders between your iPad and computer. With the App installed on your mobile device you can also run programs remotely from your computer. LogMeIn Ignition is also a great work around if you need to access a flash website with your iPad. You can browse the web on your remote computer and the image will be transferred to your iPad. Keep in mind that this workaround is best used for viewing flash enabled content of a website as flash videos will be choppy, and flash audio is non-existent.
Setting up LogMeIn is easy. To use the service I created a free LogMeIn.com account, bought the iPad App for $29.99, and downloaded the free desktop version (MAC and PC available) for all the computers I wanted to access. There is no limit to how many remote computers you can access allowing you to download the desktop software to all your school, work, or home computers.
While many of our readers are devoted Apple users who buy only Apple products, there are people out there like me have a PC or Android Phone. One of the selling points for me is that LogMeIn has a version for Android. I carry an Android for work and have an iPhone for personal use. With a single app that is compatible with multiple platforms, I don’t have to install multiple types of software to remote access my iMAC at home or Dell Workstation at the office. LogMeIn is also secure, proven, and was the first remote access service designed for the consumer in mind. It’s been around much longer than the iPad first as a computer to computer remote access program.
LogMeIn Ignition supports AirPrint compatible printers.
iPad Limitations Apply
LogMeIn Ignition can do a lot of wonderful things but the iPad limitations still apply. You have to be connected to the internet via 3G or WIFI for the App to work. Slow internet connections speeds will hamper your work. For example, LogMeIn Ignition will allow you to play a lot of video not supported on the iPad but depending on the connection speeds, the video might appear on your iPad at very low frames per second. The iPad’s screen resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels is much smaller than the vast majority of desktops. You will have to zoom in on some screens to so see the text.
Do I need LogMeIn.com PRO?
LogMeIn.com gives you the choice of a free account, or paying extra for a LogMeIn.com Pro account. Logmein.com Pro gives you many extra features (see below). Much of the Logmein.com PRO features are included in the iPad App (i.e. LogMeIn Ignition). For example, file transferring is something that is included for LogMeIn Ignition. In most cases you would only purchase LogMeIn.com Pro if you wanted to access a desktop computer with another computer such as your laptop.
If you want the extra features for computer-to-computer access it currently costs you an extra $12.20 per month for each computer you want to access remotely. So if you want to access multiple computers it’s roughly an extra $12 dollars per computer, as they offer a small discount for extra computers. To save yourself some money, if you decide to go Pro we suggest paying for the service annually. It’s $69 a year per computer which works out to be $5.82 per month. Logmein.com Pro does a free trial period so you can use it and decide if you actually need all the extra features.
LogMeIn.Com PRO Features (Both MAC & PC unless noted otherwise)
Drag & Drop File Transfer (PC Only)
Diagnostic Toolkit (PC Only)
Background Login (PC Only)
Screen Blanking (Windows Only)
Alerts with LogMeIn Central (PC Only)
Reporting with LogMeIn Central (PC Only)
Inventory with LogMeIn Central (PC Only)
UPDATE (April 7, 2011): By request, here are setup and installation instructions:
To get LogMeIn working on your iPad follow these steps:
1) Create a free account at logmein.com. To do that click the left green button the logmein.com signup page. I have provided the link to the sign up page here.
2) After you create an account, download and install the software on each computer you want to access remotely with your iPad. After you signup for the free account in step 1, the next thing logmein.com will prompt you to do is download the necessary software.
3)Purchase the LogMeIn iPad App from the iTunes Store. The iPad app is titled “LogMeIn Ignition.” It’s a one time price of $29.99. You can purchase it by visiting the iTunes Store here.
4) You’re all set. Have fun with the App!