Just last week I was pondering the thought of using remote desktop software on Apple’s upcoming iPad. Sure, you could say the iPad is an oversized iPod Touch, but adding the power to virtually “run” a desktop operating system on the larger display adds a whole new dimension to the device. Of course, you’re not physically “running” Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows in a case like that — instead, you get a window to the desktop so you can interact with the environment as if you were on that machine.
LogMeIn today announced that its Ignition solution — currently available for the iPhone — is heading to Google’s mobile platform. Interested folks can now sign up to be notified when LogMeIn Ignition for Android becomes available. Although Android is running on far more smartphones than any other type of mobile device — it ships on 60,000 smartphones daily, says Google — I did notice that LogMeIn says you can “control your computer right from your smartphone or smartbook,” emphasis mine. While I expect smartbooks to run on Google’s Chrome OS by the end of the year, I could easily envision LogMeIn becoming quite useful on Android tablets and MIDs — devices with displays larger than traditional smartphones; say, in the 4″ to 10″ range.
VentureBeat has already had some playtime with the Android-powered ICD Ultra and its 7″ display at Mobile World Congress. Viewing and interacting with a full desktop operating system on such a display might pose a challenge, but it’s surely doable. The Notion Ink Adam with Pixel Qi display and other similar tablets running Android are also likely candidates for Ignition. For years, we mobile enthusiasts have wished for a full desktop OS on a pocketable or highly portable device, but maybe the costs — both financial and usage constraints — of such devices outweigh the benefits for many.
Is virtualization a good enough solution to help sell the forthcoming Android tablets? I’ve signed up with LogMeIn to find out when the software becomes available and I’m still thinking that software like this combined with the touch-friendly mobile interface on a tablet just might work for my travels. Once I determine this solution can work, it’s going to come down to which tablet or MID I decide to try it on — Apple’s iPad or a Google Android tablet?
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