Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Apps Give iOS and Android Control of a Windows PC
Android and iOS users have been given a new and easy way to control their Windows PCs today thanks to Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app. The app is compatible with both phone and tablet devices, so iPad and Android tablet users can also take advantage.
It does not automatically detect PCs on a network, so you will have to find out your PCs IP by entering “ipconfig” into the command prompt and looking for “IPv4 Address.” To test usage outside of your primary network, you’ll need to forward port 3389 on the TCP protocol through your router. From there, you should be able to enter your public IP (which can be found by asking Google, “What is my IP?”) and connect from anywhere.
An on-screen keyboard gives users access to traditional function keyboard functions such as ctrl, alt, esc, shift, tab, and the Windows keys. You also have the option to control the mouse cursor or simply point and click yourself. In testing on an iPhone, I found the cursor was much easier to control.
There are other options for remote access to PCs from mobile devices, such as LogMeIn or Jump, but Microsoft’s new app is free and simple enough to set up. The only downside is you’ll need to be running a premium version of Windows to create a remote desktop. This means users of “Home” or “Home Premium” versions of Windows 7 and 8 will need to upgrade their copies to the “Ultimate” or “Pro” edition.
For more on setting up remote desktop access on your PC, see this post by How-To Geek.