Weekly App Wrap: Splashtop Remote Desktop

No, the pictured tablet is not running Windows 7 but it is the next best thing. Pictured is the Splashtop Remote Desktop app running on my Android tablet (the tablet is an HP Touchpad with Android 4.0). The app allows users to remotely access their desktop or laptop computer from a mobile device when away from home or the office. I use the app when I am in the field or traveling and need to access maps or files on my computer at the office.

I originally purchased Splashtop when I was using WebOS (the original operating system) on my tablet. The main reason I purchased the app was to remotely connect to my computer to watch Netflix movies and stream music to the tablet. There was not a Netflix app for the tablet at the time. I found the app to be pretty handy. I soon began using the app for business purpose to access maps in ArcView, email in Outlook, and files and photos in File Explorer.
 
Set up
To remotely connect with the app, users must download and configure software on their computer. The software is free and available for Windows and Mac computers. There is very little that needs to be done to configure the software. I set up a password to use when connecting with my tablet. When connected to the same network the app automatically finds the computer with the desktop software. When on a different network, the mobile device discovers the computer by using a Google account login (this may differ for different devices and app versions). 
 
Thoughts
I do not use Splashtop Desktop Remote every day, but it is always there if I am away and need to access my computer. In order to remotely connect, the computer must be powered on and connected to the internet. The same is true for the mobile device. Access may be limited if the mobile device has poor or no internet connection. If the computer is offline or shuts down, there is no way to remotely connect. This has not happened very often, but it has happened to me a time or two. Using the app on the mobile device takes some getting used to. Gestures on the touch screen aren't always accurate because computers are not generally optimized for touch interfaces (yet). The mobile app supports high-res video and audio which makes streaming video from my computer a pleasant experience. Having the ability to access my GIS software to show a map to a client is another huge perk. The app is well worth its cost and is relatively inexpensive compared to similar apps.
 
Buy or Try?
I say buy. Splashtop Remote Desktop is available on multiple platforms including iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), Android phones and tablets, WebOS (Hp Touchpad), Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and the Blackberry Playbook. Visit the links below to buy or find out more about the app for each of the different platforms. 
 
Download Splashtop Remote Desktop 

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