Yeah, we’re control freaks just like you so we know how elated you were to discover Apple’s official remote control app only to be crushed to find out that it only works on iTunes. Then you found the AirMouse app to control your computer’s cursor and touchpad using your iPhone. Not bad, but still not like having your entire computer in your hands. You want to access your computer from anywhere using your iPhone or iPod touch. You desire full control over applications, managing files, or do pretty much anything you can do if you were sitting in front of your computer. Control freaks rejoice, with the Jaadu VNC iPhone app you can now seize your god-given right to access your computer from anywhere. It’s the ultimate remote control for your computer that you’ve been dreaming of.
Jaadu’s iPhone app uses virtual network computing, or VNC, to enable complete command over your computer from pretty much anywhere in the world as long as your iPhone has access to a wireless network. VNC has been wildly popular among internet nerds for years, giving them a sense of power that society has cruelly denied them in their pocket-protected youth. With Jaadu VNC, you don’t have to be a network engineer to use your iPhone to control your computer, and this includes Mac, Windows, and even Linux. You can even access more than one computer, such as your PC at the office and your Mac at home. We are extremely impressed with Jaadu VNC. It sports a fantastic multi-touch interface and a rich set of features that far outshine the competition.
For those of you who are new to the world of VNC, it works like this: In a nutshell, you’ll need VNC client, in this case, the Jaadu VNC iPhone app. Then for each computer you wish to connect to, you configure it to accept connections from the VNC client app. If your iPhone will be on the same network as your computer, then connecting is a snap and in fact, most VNC clients provide only this method of connection. Jaadu, however, goes beyond same network control so you can configure it to connect from anywhere over the internet.
Let’s say you have wi-fi in your home and both your iPhone and your computer use this network. Jaadu will auto-detect any VNC enabled computers on your network and you can connect to any one of them with a tap. Now let’s say you go to your office and now your iPhone is on your workplace wi-fi. With Jaadu, you can still connect to your home computer as long as you have the proper network settings configured so you can connect over the internet. Jaadu will works over Edge, 3G and wi-fi, although we don’t recommend using Edge just because that network is too slow for the screen refreshing that is required by VNC.
To get started with Jaadu, you’ll need the iPhone app, of course, but you’ll also need to go through the step-by-step installation guide located on the Jaadu web site. You’ll be asked to download and run a free utility called Jaadu Connect which will auto-detect and configure your router and network settings. For most users, the set up will be fairly painless and Jaadu’s installation guide will handhold you through the entire process from start to finish. For a smaller a group of users that have a particular ISP and router combination, the set up is more complicated if you wish to connect from anywhere on the internet.
As our luck would have it, we were in that smaller group of customers who use AT&T’s U-Verse internet with the 2Wire router. For us, this meant a longer time setting up the router to handle port-forwarding, a process that might make less geeky users fairly squeamish. Fortunately, Jaadu’s tutorial helped us navigate that dark jungle of network configuration and their online support was responsive when we had a question.
In the end, it was all worth the effort when we went ran to the store leaving the shopping list on our computer. We pulled out our iPhone, fired up Jaadu and connected to our computer where we easily opened our shopping list. And while we were at it, we turned on our web cam to see the dog sleeping on the couch so we paused the music we had playing on iTunes. It was clear that we had the power now, and that filled our hearts with magical, nerdy joy.
Aside from the automated set up (for most users), it’s the UI features that truly set it apart from other VNC apps for the iPhone. The screen view supports ultra high resolutions and works in portrait or landscape. The cursor control uses the iPhone’s multitouch interface which essentially turns your iPhone into a virtual touchpad. We’ve used other virtual touchpad apps out there and nothing comes as close to Jaadu’s very smooth control and its natural touch input. Jaadu also has a nice keypad control allowing you use the keyboard as if you were sitting at your computer. There’s also a remote menu that let’s you access the most use keyboard functions. And from this remote menu you can access a bevy of additional controls for scrolling pages and windows, controlling your web browser, accessing function keys, modifier keys, and much, much more.
Jaadu VNC is $24.99 which puts this at a higher price point than most people are willing to part with for an iPhone app. Now, before you all start sending us email about lower priced VNC apps, or even free ones, let’s just say that when it comes to VNC clients for iPhone, you pretty much get what you pay for. With Jaadu VNC you won’t have crashing issues and you won’t get frustrated with the frame rate or cursor control or the keyboard. What you will have is a super solid iPhone app with a surprisingly intuitive interface that puts a virtual desktop right on your iPhone or iPod touch.