iPhone Remote: Your Mac in Your iPhone

Not to be confused with Apple’s Remote app for iTunes, iPhone Remote is an application for Mac OS X that puts the contents of your Mac within easy reach of your iPhone or iPod touch. With iPhone Remote, your Mac is in your iPhone.

Developed by Telekinesis, the folks behind the ubiquitous Quicksilver, iPhone Remote brings VNC-like funtionalities to the iPhone and iPod touch.

The front-end of iPhone Remote is the web browser. Simply type the IP address provided by the iPhone Remote service running on your Mac into Safari on your device and you will be greeted with a page of icons. You can bookmark this page and add it to the Home Screen.


From here, you can…

Browse folders
Open just about any document you need
Launch applications
Play movies and music
Perform basic mouse and text input
Do a Spotlight search
Run a remote desktop session

You can even remotely activate iSight on your Mac and see what it is seeing right in Safari on your iPhone or iPod touch!

And if you are proficient in scripting, you can easily add your own custom apps. Two user-written apps you might want to check out are Running Application and Uniremote.

iPhone Remote definitely has a place in my daily computing workflow. Recently, I was in a meeting, at the other end of the office, when I had to find out if I had a particular file in my MacBook Pro. I ran iPhone Remote, dug thru the folders on my Mac and confirmed I had the file without having to excuse myself from the meeting.

It would be fantastic if iPhone Remote allowed me to download files on my Mac into my device. But I highly doubt that would happen. Development on iPhone Remote seem to have ceased; the most recent build is dated July 2007. It is quite a pity, considering how iPhone Remote is an application of some pedigree. But, even so, it certainly still has much value in its current form.

Do note that iPhone Remote is considered by its developers to be more of a technological demo rather than an end product. Also, you are well advised to not leave iPhone Remote running if you are not using it, because the application has the same access privileges as your user account on your Mac.