LogMeIn Express: Simple, On-demand Screen Sharing

LogMeIn, a supplier of useful remote control, file-sharing and backup apps that we’ve written about many times previously, this week quietly rolled out a beta of LogMeIn Express, a simple, on-demand service for sharing your screen with up to 100 other people.

To get started, just go to the LogMeIn Express site, and click the “Share” button. You’ll need to download and run a small application (unfortunately, the helper application appears to be Windows-only at the moment). Once the client app is up and running, a small window appears at the top of your screen. It contains a unique 12-digit code that you can send to everyone with which you want to share your screen. Helpfully there’s a “copy to clipboard” button to make it even easier to share the code with others over IM or email. (Note: the first time I tried using the app, it seemed to have trouble acquiring a session code — restarting the app fixed that).

The LogMeIn Express control panel window in the screenshot above shows the window in its expanded state — after a short delay it rolls up to an unobtrusive bar, so it won’t get in the way.

The viewers (the people that you’d like to share your screen with) then just need to go to the LogMeIn Express site and type in the session code that you’ve sent them (unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to paste the code in the box, which means that they’ll have to type it out by hand). There’s no need for them to download anything — it all runs in the browser via Flash. Here’s a screenshot of my Windows laptop, shared with my MacBook:

LogMeInExpress - sharing on Mac

The presenter and the viewers can communicate via a built-in chat window. The shared screen is clear on the viewer’s browser, but — as with all screen sharing services — there is a little lag and the screens don’t keep completely in sync, especially if lots of stuff is happening. However, as long as you keep movements fairly controlled, the lag isn’t very noticeable.

In addition, the presenter can enable a useful “remote control” mode, whereby the viewers can take control of the mouse pointer on the presenter’s screen (I tested this and it works pretty well), and can also send files to the viewers via the app.

As the downloadable client application is currently Windows-only and I mainly use a Mac, it’s not suitable for me at the moment — I think I’ll stick with Skype for my simple screen sharing needs. However, if you’re looking for a simple and fast way to share your Windows screen, it’s worth checking out.

What do you use when you need to share your screen with other people?

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