Joining the number of already available ways to access a computer from a mobile device, Google released Chrome Remote Desktop for Android on Wednesday. With the free app, found in the Google Play Store, you can remotely connect to and control a Microsoft Windows PC or Mac OS X computer on your Android phone or tablet.
So why, then, is the app called a “Chrome” remote desktop tool? Google is using Chrome as the framework for the connection; you’ll need the Chrome browser installed on the remote computer in order to connect to it through your Android device. Google takes the same approach with the Chrome extension that lets a Chromebook remotely control a traditional computer. And that Chrome framework is part of a larger strategy for Google to boost engagement on non-Google platforms.
While the app works on any Android phone or tablet running Android 4.0 or better, it’s much better suited for a larger screened device. Viewing a full desktop computer interface on a small handset display is less than ideal, although it could be handy in a pinch.