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Summary:

The Android version of LogMeIn Ignition has only been available for a short time and I have been giving it a spin to see how it compares to the iPhone version. This review makes it clear that Android is a good platform for those needing LogMeIn.

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LogMeIn Ignition is a remote desktop program that allows users to access their computer, anywhere in the world, from a smartphone. The Android version has only been available for a short time, and I have been giving it a spin to see how it compares to the previously released iPhone version. This review should make it clear that Android is a good platform for remote control software like LogMeIn.

LogMeIn turns the Android phone into a window into a remote Windows or Mac computer. The smartphone takes total control over the remote computer, allowing complete operation as if sitting in front of the computer.

When the app is fired up on the Android phone, a login screen is presented to get into the LogMeIn server. Once inside, a list of the user’s computers that can be controlled is presented. Tap the computer name in the list and then a login screen for that computer is presented. Once the credentials are verified the remote desktop appears in just a few seconds.

The LogMeIn phone interface is designed to be operated totally via touch, and two methods of mousing around the screen are available. The default is to operate the cursor by sliding the remote computer’s display around on the phone screen until the desired control is positioned under the fixed cursor. Optionally you can configure LogMeIn to allow sliding the cursor around on a fixed desktop, similar to mousing on a computer. Strangely, the fixed cursor method is easier to work with, although it takes a while to get used to moving the desktop instead of the cursor.

 

The remote desktop first appears on the phone screen as a tiny overview of the entire remote computer desktop. Zooming in is as easy as pinching and zooming. LogMeIn also has a zoom bar that sits on the left of the screen when invoked and is a really fast way to zoom in and out on the remote screen. Mouse clicks are executed with simple taps on the screen, and an icon on the bar at the bottom of the screen toggles between left and right mouse clicks.

I have used LogMeIn Ignition on my EVO 4G, and it runs really fast on either 4G or Wi-Fi connections. Sessions conducted over 3G are not as smooth, due to limited bandwidth, but are acceptable for short remote sessions as needed.

At $29.99, the program is expensive for personal use, but support personnel looking for a good way to provide remote support for work may find it a bargain. I have spoken to a couple of support folks, one in IT support and the other in help desk support, and both of their companies have them using the iPhone strictly because LogMeIn only ran on that phone. The options just got a lot more open for these folks with Android getting this version of LogMeIn.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?

  1. JK – could you download Wyse Pocketcloud and give it a whirl right quick for a comparison? It is still free until the end of the month. I am using it and like it alot, but like the “desktop under the pointer” theme which is what Jaadu did on the iPhone. Wyse will actually let you use touch (and the EVO’s screen is pretty darn good at it, IMO) but their mouse is a little more work.

    I don’t really want to pay $30 to test Logmein out!

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    1. You can use full mouse cursor control in LogMeIn, too. I don’t have time to test Pocketcloud, unfortunately. If you’re happy with that just keep using it.

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  2. Is it sufficiently fast to use a program on the remote PC? For example, if you had an Android device with a keyboard, could you actually use Word productively?

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  3. Richard Garrett Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    I used the beta of LogMeIn and am now using the $29.95 version. While the screen size of my Moto Droid is definitely an inhibitor, I have nevertheless found the program useful. I’ve retrieved documents and emailed correspondence from my MacBook and through LMI. I am happy with the purchase and think that if it gets me out of a jam once or twice a month the price is well worth it. (Note too that my network is Verizon’s 3G). I have yet to try LMI for the iPad but am using Desktop on that platform. It doesn’t seem quite as polished as LogMeIn.

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  4. This is plenty fast enough to use for productive work. I also use the iPad version and this Android version on the EVO is just as fast.

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  5. I have used PhoneMyPC for several months now. LMI seems to have the same functionality. James, have you tried that program? And I’m curious if LMI provides audio streaming over WiFi or 3G?

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    1. I don’t believe LMI does streaming, I’m not sure you’d want to use it for that anyway due to the hit on the phone. There are other ways to do that better.

      I have not tried PhoneMyPC. LMI does everything I need quite well.

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      1. What do you mean, “the hit on the phone”? What are other audio streaming options available? I’m looking for something to stream music from my computer to my phone over the 3G network, rather than having to load up memory cards. I just mention PhoneMyPC because it’s priced at $9.99, verses $29.99 with LMI.

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      2. LMI passes a lot of data due to the desktop sharing. That’s a bigger hit than needed for a pure audio streaming solution. I don’t stream audio myself other than with Pandora, perhaps others can chime in how they are doing that.

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