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Old 04-05-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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Anyone using a VNC client on their iOS Device to access Windows apps?

I am not thrilled with the slate market right now and really could use a decent slate PC. I've tried the iPad and it's not that bad at all but unfortunately I need some Windows apps. Since there is really no way to run any sort of emulator on an iPad or Touch I am thinking with the iPad 2's increase horsepower it might be able to run a VNC Client at a reasonable speed to give me the access I want on the slate.

Of course concerns are if the VNC client passes taps as mouse clicks, etc. And of course speed is first or second on the importance scale. I can run apps via VNC on my old PDAs just fine but the screen size is just a killer. I've been bummed that only Asus seems to have made a Win7 device. I don't know why it never dawned on me that the new iPad 2 might finally have the speed needed. I'm not going to be doing graphics intensive stuff, just some essentially database apps that would actually be just fine as a DOS app.

Any input form someone who is ACTUALLY DOING THIS not has a friend of a friend of a buddy's sisters girlfriend's 8th cousin that lives over the piano bar in Podunk BF, Nowhere heard that someone she knew had tried it. Actually anyone with experience even trying this would help out a great deal.

There is some info out there on the web but I've read this site for so long I thought I would ax here rather than some site dedicated to iOS devices.

Remember it's a VNC not a VPN I am looking at as the solution, potentially anyway.

thanks!
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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I use LogMeIn Ignition on the iPad to occasionally access both my Mac and my Windows machine at work. It is fast, works well, but...it really brings home (to me at least) how different the touch interface is from the mouse/keyboard interface...dragging that little mouse around with your finger then tapping it to click just gets old quickly

We use LogMeIn on all our PCs/Macs, so its mostly just familiarity as to the reason I went with it on the iPad.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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You can use the Teamviewer app to access your Windows computer running Teamviewer.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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I wan't looking for recommendations on the actual app, I can find a zillion VNC clients. Thanks though. But rather I was looking for details from someone actually doing it on a regular basis. Theory is nice and I can find my own app just interested on the performance in the real world.

edit: you're really kidding right? you are suggesting an $800 app to do this? I can buy a real tablet PC for $800 from the HP Referb store.

Last edited by grumpy3b; 04-05-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjk View Post
I use LogMeIn Ignition on the iPad to occasionally access both my Mac and my Windows machine at work. It is fast, works well, but...it really brings home (to me at least) how different the touch interface is from the mouse/keyboard interface...dragging that little mouse around with your finger then tapping it to click just gets old quickly

We use LogMeIn on all our PCs/Macs, so its mostly just familiarity as to the reason I went with it on the iPad.
thanks a bunch for that feedback!! I was wondering if the transition from touch to a keyboard & mouse app was going to be weird. Sounds like that might really be the case. Darn. And of course there would be data entry I need as well but the virtual keyboard Still I think it would be OK since data entry would be small fields and some brief notes via the iPad with the final data entry done on the Windows box.

I have a question about the mouse vs. touch input. Based on your note about the "drag & tap" can I assume the VNC client doesn't translate a tap on the iPad into a mouse & click in the client app at the location you tap? If it doesn't do this I could really see it getting old fast.

Last edited by grumpy3b; 04-05-2011 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy3b View Post

I have a question about the mouse vs. touch input. Based on your note about the "drag & tap" can I assume the VNC client doesn't translate a tap on the iPad into a mouse & click in the client app at the location you tap? If it doesn't do this I could really see it getting old fast.
Sorry, I wasn't clear-yes, tapping the mouse cursor is a click, tapping twice, right click. There are other settings actually to move around the screen as well.
All the parts are there? Kind of like you'd expect in a mouse-to-touch translation? I mean, I commend LogMeIn and the guys who made Screens for making the interface work at all :P But, it is frustrating at times. I'd say for what I use it for (checking on Word/Excel files I don't have access to on the go, getting files-I just drag them to Dropbox, very convenient!), etc... it is a nice app to have.

Running a computer on it? I thought I would do that more at home actually?
You know, lie on my couch with the iPad, and access my Mac remotely? Sadly, it is *still* easier to just get up and use the Mac. For me at least.

You may be happier with a full fledged slate that has total functionality, not just access, if you know what I mean.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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kjk:

I looked at your LogMeIn and it looks pretty good. I did also find a video to show how Screens works and from it as well as some other reading I would be perfectly happy. I still haven't visited the iTunes App store though just to see where things are today as this video is a year or so old.



If there this is how it worked on the original iPad, seems this is actually a pretty workable solution if I decide to go the iPad 2 direction. I'm betting that the battery life is really short, maybe 4hrs on a new device when using a VNC full on? I did not consider battery life until just this second. How do you find the battery life using your VNC client? Or don't you use it long enough for it to matter? I suppose one could do a connect, work, disconnect, reconnect as needed and repeat. That could help battery life I suppose as long as the time between connections is long enough to justify the added power drain to re-establish the connection? Maybe?

Sorry for the shotgun look at this, but really I have used the fact I couldn't run my business apps via the slate as my primary reason not to buy one. Now it seems I am running out of excuses. The problem with that is if I get one, then everyone in the house will need one as well because suddenly their reader won't be good enough. sigh, maybe I'll just not mention this for now, at least until the iPad 3. But a new toy sounds super fun right this minute!

Back to being serious I was worried about lag on the display but based on that video, it looks to be an order of magnitude better than on my PDAs and close enough to what I get on my laptop when connected to one of my desktops via whatever VNC I am running right now, heck I don't even remember. Oh, on this laptop it's RealVNC which runs fine and I think that is the same server running on both desktop systems. But any client will do for the connection. I do really like the look of how the Screens VNC runs, especially that it supports gestures and multi-touch. For $25 or so it's not a bad deal at all. More in the ballpark than what must be an amazing app in the $800 Teamviewer program. For that it had better do things to the user that nobody has ever done before for 800-bones!
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Sorry, I wasn't clear-yes, tapping the mouse cursor is a click, tapping twice, right click. There are other settings actually to move around the screen as well.
All the parts are there? Kind of like you'd expect in a mouse-to-touch translation? I mean, I commend LogMeIn and the guys who made Screens for making the interface work at all :P But, it is frustrating at times. I'd say for what I use it for (checking on Word/Excel files I don't have access to on the go, getting files-I just drag them to Dropbox, very convenient!), etc... it is a nice app to have.

Running a computer on it? I thought I would do that more at home actually?
You know, lie on my couch with the iPad, and access my Mac remotely? Sadly, it is *still* easier to just get up and use the Mac. For me at least.

You may be happier with a full fledged slate that has total functionality, not just access, if you know what I mean.
Thanks that is really nice detail. My main purpose is to not need to drag the laptop with me while working on a project. I have a business specific app I use but I don't need or want to do everything at the same time. I might fill in some data here and there, make a few notes then move to the next part of the job and repeat. Later I would drag out the laptop and finish the job(s) by filling in all the details and with a ton more keyboard input. But all the input is text no drawing, photos or what have you. That is why I am hoping a VNC client might be a nice solution until we have some better Windows based options. Of course we might never have them if Apple, Android, WebOS and even GoogleOS/ChromiumOS keep evolving as fast as they are. Right now Windows is lagging a ton. Don't know why they did not keep pushing on the mobile and touch screen platforms it has seemed like the obvious direction for a few decades now. Oh, well, as long as i can run my old antique apps via an emulator (likely might not be too long and I will actually ahve to run them in a virtual box which would really slow down a VNC solution) I'm OK enough.

I really appreciate the details on how the app you are using works. I was just nosing around for a video demo so if it is as responsive as Screens I am golden no matter what client I run. And that was what I was 'afraid' of learning. Now that I know it's a good thing it's near to impossible to find a 64gb or even 32gb black iPad 2. I can see this is gonna cost me later this summer. Yeah, like I am really broken hearted about that part!

ANd thanks for the reminder about using Dropbox for sharing any data files I might need. I had not gotten to thinking about apps other than the main business app. What would be awesome is if the developer of the database app would build an iOS client app but that is not likely to ever happen as the developer is likely ready to retire, me too, so updates have dried up to the bare minimum. Still I might bug him about an iOS client app even though the main app is pure Wintel being written in Delphi by Borland using a Paradox dbase engine. So I truly doubt it's never going to be ported.

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Old 04-05-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Haven't noticed any unusual battery drainage with Logmein Ignition...I've found almost all iPad apps to be pretty good about battery life so far, even games, after a version or two (the original Angry Birds seemed to kill my iPad battery, but subsequent versions weren't an issue)

I really love the Screens demos as well-for some reason I had thought it was only for controlling Macs. If we weren't so invested in Logmein at work, I may have tried Screens instead. Actually, I still might

Dropbox is just a perfect adjunct to any VNC app-love it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
You can use the Teamviewer app to access your Windows computer running Teamviewer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy3b View Post
I wan't looking for recommendations on the actual app, I can find a zillion VNC clients. Thanks though. But rather I was looking for details from someone actually doing it on a regular basis. Theory is nice and I can find my own app just interested on the performance in the real world.

edit: you're really kidding right? you are suggesting an $800 app to do this? I can buy a real tablet PC for $800 from the HP Referb store.
Hmmm, have to take back those 'nasty' things I said about Teamviewer. Apparently it's free for personal use which would be fine for my needs. Don't know if it is fully enabled in the free version but it's in the iTunes store as free so can't complain about that. But on the Teamviewer website the cheapest paid version seems to be $799. Weird.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teamv...357069581?mt=8

Worth a look too then. but the $800 tag made me laugh.

edit.......................

Seems the free version is the full version just the restriction on personal use only. For a one man shop that works OK.

Quote:
Features:
-----------------------------
- Remotely access unattended computers
- Conveniently control remote computers using the iPhone multi-touch gestures: left click, right click, drag & drop, scroll wheel, zoom, change monitor
- Complete keyboard control incl. special keys such as Ctrl, Alt, Windows®
- Remotely reboot the computer
- Automatically adjust the screen resolution of the remote computer
- Overview of computers that are online via the integrated Partner list
- Effortlessly access computers behind firewalls and proxy servers
- Meets highest security standards: 256 Bit AES Session Encoding, 1024 Bit RSA Key Exchange
- The Free version of TeamViewer has exactly the same features as the Pro version. However, the license of the Free version is intended for private use only

Last edited by grumpy3b; 04-05-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:54 PM   #11
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Haven't noticed any unusual battery drainage with Logmein Ignition...I've found almost all iPad apps to be pretty good about battery life so far, even games, after a version or two (the original Angry Birds seemed to kill my iPad battery, but subsequent versions weren't an issue)

I really love the Screens demos as well-for some reason I had thought it was only for controlling Macs. If we weren't so invested in Logmein at work, I may have tried Screens instead. Actually, I still might

Dropbox is just a perfect adjunct to any VNC app-love it.
Nice to know about the battery life while running LogMeIn. I noticed in my PDAs the battery life drops fast when doing a heavy use session. But anymore I don't do much VNC to the laptop on the small handhelds. It's just too much zooming and other than transferring files I don't use it much. The PDAs also stink on ice for use when working remotely, just too old I suppose.

Yeah, give Screens a look as I believe there is a free trial. It would be interesting to see how it compares from your POV after so many years of LogMeIn. Funny I never had much need for any of these remote access options other than as a curiosity. But now with the various tablets and slate devices I really want to take advantage of their nice form factor and leave the bigger laptop on the desk out of my way.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:07 PM   #12
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Nice update to LogMeIn Ignition today:
Quote:
Update combines remote control with major new enhancements:
• View files/folders on one or more computers with File Manager
• Copy/move files or folders from computers to local storage on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch
• Save PC and Mac files directly on an iOS device for offline viewing
• Update locally saved files with changes made on remote computers
• Create a local folder and filing system within the Ignition app
• Transfer files between remote computers
• Support for Airprint wireless printing for iPad
• Wake a sleeping computer using Wake-On-LAN
haven't tried these features yet, but intriguing.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #13
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I use VNC Viewer every day to access both Mac and Windows systems. It works great and I've never had a problem with it.

I also do use LogMeIn from time to time but VNC Viewer is my go-to app.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #14
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jplumey,

Thanks for the mention of VNC Viewer. I've used it in the past on my Windows boxes as well as, if I remember, my old PDAs. Seemed to do a nice job then with not much overhead.

This has all been really great info and is going to help me. Deciding on the software is likely going to be an on-going process to see which, if any, of them give me more of what I need and might not have been able to articulate here. Thanks for all the details!
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