Turn Your Smartphone into a Wireless Mouse & Keyboard for Your Computer
While you can do a lot of things on your smartphone that were once only done on a computer, having a laptop is still necessary and critical for many tasks. Often times, the two devices work very well together.
We recently covered Google's Chrome Remote Desktop, an app that allows you to access and control your computer directly from your smartphone or tablet from anywhere. Using my iPhone, I was able to mirror the image of my Windows computer and remotely access it.
But if you're looking for a way to use your smartphone and computer side by side, I present to you Remote Mouse from developer Yang Tian Jiao. This app quickly turns your Android, iOS, or Windows Phone device into a wireless mouse to use on your Mac or Windows computer.
On your Windows or Mac, download the appropriate version of Remote Mouse below. I'll be doing the tutorial on a Mac running Yosemite (10.10.1).
When the app has finished installing, select "OK," which will create an application icon up in your menu bar where you can toggle auto start and configure other settings.
On the mobile device side of things, you'll need to download Remote Mouse for either Android, iOS, or Windows Phone below. Before opening the app, make sure that both your mobile device and desktop are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Make sure Remote Mouse is enabled on your computer, then open up the app on your mobile device and it will begin searching for your computer, which should only take a few seconds.
Once it connects, you can begin using it as a mouse. Move your finger across the screen to move the cursor. Tap with one finger to left-click, with two fingers to right-click, and pinch to zoom in.
Note that if you have other people on your network, they can gain access to your computer by downloading the app, so make sure you're in a trusted environment.
On your mobile device, use the computer icon at the top (second from the left) to power off and restart your computer, as well as put it to sleep and log out of your profile.
The play icon will allow you to control music in iTunes, Keynote, Hulu, and Front Row on Mac, and iTunes, PowerPoint, Windows Media Player, and Windows Photo Viewer on Windows. However, this is a paid feature, so you'll need to make an in-app purchase of $1.99 to use it.
You can view the apps on your computer's dock from the window icon, where you can open an app by tapping on it; as of now there's no way to close them.
Finally there's the keyboard icon, where you can type into any text field on your computer using the keyboard on your phone. Using the "return" key on it works the same as hitting "Enter/Return" on your computer.
Access your settings by tapping on the four-dash menu icon, where you can control tracking and scrolling speeds as well as toggle volume controls, secondary clicks, zoom, sound effects, and change the trackpad background.
In "Panels," you can view some of the free features as well as paid ones: Spotify Remote, Image Transfer, and Remove Ads are a few that cost money.
If you have Touch ID enabled on your device, be careful, because it's very easy to tap on "GET" button and purchase something simply by pressing down on your iPhone's Home button.
To make matters worse, you can't even see how much money you would drop on one of the paid features; the only way to view prices is by going to the App Store page and scrolling down (most of them are $1.99).
Overall, even without the in-app purchases, the app worked great with my Mac. The setup took just a few seconds and I was also impressed with the touch response and the ability to perform functions such as shutdown, restart, and sleep.