What do YOU use mobile remote desktop services for?
October 7, 2011 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Use case scenarios: now that iPhones, iPads and Android devices can do a lot of what desktops can do, either natively or through web apps, what are some of the biggest uses/implementations of those devices to access remote computers? In other words, what do YOU use mobile remote desktop services for?

And in case it needs mentioning, I'm not looking for software recommendations, just a general idea of best practices.
posted by malaprohibita to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'll give software as examples. My three favorite ways (in order) to connect to my home desktop/media computer from my iPad/iPhone are (1) as a wireless keyboard & trackpad using Mobile Mouse; (2) streaming video with Air Video; and (3) plain old VNC using iTeleport.

I would like a fully-featured SSH client, but haven't put enough time into looking for one and trying it out.
posted by supercres at 7:59 AM on October 7, 2011

I use my iPad quite a bit for work, but not really for remote access to machines outside of service-level stuff like mail and calendar/scheduling. I've used the iSSH client for access to some server resources (it also supports VNC). The Cisco WebEx client for iPad is pretty good, too, though you can't use it to lead a meeting (only join one).
posted by jquinby at 8:02 AM on October 7, 2011

suprecres, check out iSSH. It costs something like $5, but it is worth it. Much better than the free ones I tried.
posted by dgran at 8:03 AM on October 7, 2011

I have a lot of 1080p movie rips that play horribly if run natively on my Android tablet, but look great when I play them on my home theater PC and stream it to the tablet via Splashtop.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2011

I've used RDP (and SSH and VNC) on my phone to do network admin stuff when I was on call and not able to get to a computer. I can't imagine doing it in anything but a desperate situation though, it's not very fun.
posted by empath at 8:23 AM on October 7, 2011

I use splashtop to access my work desktop and sharedrives on my ipad--either when I'm out in the field or at home. Works better than the vpn solution offered by work IT folks.

Also, I'll use it to run flash videos on my ipad--by accessing my work computer.
posted by vitabellosi at 8:28 AM on October 7, 2011

I'm not sure if it counts as remote desktop as none of our servers here run a desktop, but I routinely use my Android phone for SSHing into our servers for mundane maintenance work, status checks, etc. I can also VPN in and hit the local web pages for keeping track of bug-related code checkins on the server.
posted by introp at 8:29 AM on October 7, 2011

At my workshop, I use VNC on my iPhone to control Pandora instead of having to walk into the other room to the music computer. (And if I'm feeling mischievous, I do it when I'm not even there!)

It's the little things.
posted by neckro23 at 8:51 AM on October 7, 2011

Logmein Ignition for iPhone. I can do everything on my desktop, from wherever I am, and it doesn't suck to do it. I barely need to go into work anymore - don't tell anyone. I've once emailed everyone at a meeting GIS output I'd made on a remote PC under the table whilst they were still talking. It once allowed me to use Acrobat to sort out a pdf boarding pass that had some malformation that crashed my iPhone's inbuilt PDF renderer, whilst stood in a 2am rainstorm under some guy's balcony in an unknown Tel Aviv street stealing his wireless.

I literally feel vulnerable without it now.
posted by cromagnon at 9:31 AM on October 7, 2011

Oh, I also use the Citrix Receiver to access my corporate Citrix server when I don't feel like bringing my laptop.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:45 AM on October 7, 2011

I love the ability to check render queues remotely, and start or stop them off hours if necessary. I can go on vacation and tell my boss not to worry, that I can monitor our queue from the UK if I need to.

Remote desktop services has really changed computing forever.
posted by Sphinx at 10:34 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Everybody gets a best answer! Hooray! They were all very helpful. I'm a big SSH fan myself, so I may have to look into iSSH. The consensus around it seems positive. I'll add to the thread if I have any more thoughts.
posted by malaprohibita at 8:25 AM on October 8, 2011

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