Smartphones as remote control. Smartphones can now have a very wide range of applications installed on them. These include games and apps that allow for the creation of documents, or the playing of media. But it also includes those apps that provide other functionality over a WiFi network, such as remote control programs.
There are two main uses for this. Firstly, you can use them as a remote control to manipulate your computer. When you are regularly using your computer for playing media then this becomes an essential function, letting you switch between music tracks or movies, and essentially turns your phone into the equivalent of your TV controller. There are apps that allow this for both Apple and Android products.
For use as a remote controller you need an app that either turns your touch screen phone into a large mouse pad, so that you can navigate around the screen and select files or application, or you need a specialist control. Some of the media centers for Windows (such as Boxee) provide their own app that has controls specific to media control, such as play, stop, fast forward and rewind. This makes it easier to control and without the need to move a fiddly and small cursor onto a button from a long way away.
Remote controls access apps may be the most useful to people who are frequently called upon to provide tech support and help to their friends and family. It often seems that having even a modicum of technical ability can lead to a person being frequently called upon, and having to visit people’s houses frequently in order to fix their software problems can become somewhat tiring.
But thanks to applications such as that from Teamviewer, it is now possible to use an Android phone to gain remote control access. Similar software packages have been available for use on the PC for some time, but if you are away from home, or are otherwise unable to get to your PC (perhaps because it is in use by someone else) then having a remote access application on your Android phone can be incredibly useful.
These apps don’t provide a perfect copy of the other desktop on your phone, but they do allow you to navigate through the other computer’s software and other files, as well as allowing you to execute commands on the other computer from the comfort of your own home. This allows you to install and uninstall programs, move files around-whatever needs to be done.
However, in order for the app to work you must also install a program on the other user’s computer. If they are not capable of doing this for themselves them you might have to install it for them and show them how to run it before you can make this system work for you, but once it is working it can make providing informal tech support far easier than being called to their home at all hours of the day and night.
The growing library of apps that are available for many smartphones are ensuring that they are now becoming not only a phone to keep in touch with, but tools that touch almost every part of our daily lives.