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Summary:

LogMeIn Ignition is coming to Android and will provide remote access to a full desktop computer. With many tablets forthcoming, a remote desktop solution could actually help these devices gain some traction. Why carry a full OS in your pocket when you can access it remotely?

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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?

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Web Tablet Survey: Apple’s iPad Hits the Right Notes

  1. Joshua Blankenship Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    The Adam has a webcam. Sold. ;)

    And besides, we know we all would love to see OS X and Win7 in eInk.

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  2. Hopefully Android tablets will be more full featured than the ipad. The ipad may be able to run logmein but I need to be able to save files, open files, plug in USB…

    If the android tablet can do it then I’m sold. Til then, I’ll stick with my X61 or look into the S10-3t.

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    1. I can understand the USB issue, but what makes you think that you won’t be able to save or open files on the iPad? Is there some very specific file format that you need supported? If so, I wouldn’t imagine that your options are going to be a whole lot better with an Android tablet.

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      1. Sometimes I need to download drivers or other exe’s to install on another computer. Hence the need to download files and USB. Also, it’d be nice to be able to download any files from the browser.

        Hopefully one of these tablets will be able to do it.

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      2. I used to want access to file systems for similar reasons, but I try to substitute the cloud for them every chance I can. If possible, I use services like Dropbox, SugarSync, etc… in place of local file systems to store files I need (or may need) for multiple devices. With a browser, shared files or an app specific to the cloud service, you can get around not having access to local file systems in some cases. Not all, but many, provided the machine has a browser.

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      3. Dropbox has helped. But unfortunately not all of the computers I deal with are connected devices. My hope is an android tablet will have proper file handling and sd card support. In the past I have used winmo phones to download files to its sd card then plugged that into the computer o was working with.

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  3. I have purchased and use LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone. It is nice to be able to access my computers right on my phone, but obviously with the smaller resolution it is hard to control the PC. With a “full screen” app it will make controlling a remote computer much easier, although I am wondering how it will feel and respond due to the lag that is inherent in this setup, especially over a 3G connection.

    Glad to see LogMeIn is on board with Android development, I will be watching this closely.

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    1. Logmein on the iPhone is very nice. I love the small touches like the two finger scroll and three finger right click.

      Hopefully the Android version will be just as good.

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