A number of apps that allow remote access to a computer already exist and it appears that Google is going to add another. The Chromium team started a project for “the beginnings of a Chromoting Android app,” indicating the Android software will provide remote desktop access to a computer that has Google’s Chrome browser installed. Currently, Google offers a Chrome Remote Desktop extension that gives access to a PC, Mac or Linux machine through the Chrome browser.
The project, spotted by Google evangelist Francois Beaufort on Friday, is still young yet, so don’t rush over to the Google Play store; there’s nothing to download to your Android now. This is a brief list describing the initial project status for what the software can do:
- Authenticate using a Google account on the phone
- Query and display the host list from the Chromoting directory server
- Connect to and communicate with the host service over XMPP/ICE
- Establish peer-to-peer channels for communicating with the host service
That’s it for now as the software can’t yet show the desktop or handle any type of input from Android to the remote device. While the final app would likely be supported on both phones and tablets, I see much more value from the latter due to the larger displays on slates.
What kind of uses might make a Chromoting Android app handy? Access to files stored locally on the remote computer — hey, we’re not all in the cloud just yet — or the ability to run a Windows or Mac application from an Android device are two that jump out at me. In the rare case where I need to process media files on my iMac, mix a podcast, for example, I’ve been able to do so remotely from Chrome. It would be nice to have the same ability from an Android as well.