iPad LogMeIn app: Coolest way to run Windows 7

The new LogMeIn Ignition application brings the LogMeIn service to the iPad and makes it a much better experience than on the iPhone.

Windows 7 on the iPad Dong Ngo/CNET

If you have ever wondered how Windows 7--or any version of Windows, for that matter--would look on the iPad, there's indeed an app for that. It's called LogMeIn Ignition. The app has been available for the iPhone for a long time and just got a major upgrade to version 1.1.138 earlier this month to fully support the iPad's larger screen.

LogMeIn is not a new service but is arguably one of the most popular among existing remote access solutions on the market. LogMeIn Free allows users to securely control a remote PC computer via the Internet as though they were sitting in front of the machine.

The commercial version of the service also allows for more-advanced features such as printing from the remote computer to the local computer, transferring files between the two, and so on. For most users, the free version of the product is sufficient.

Normally, in a PC-to-PC connection, you use a Web browser to access the remote computer. When you want to control the remote computer from a handheld device, however, you'll need an app for that, especially if you want to use the right-click function of the mouse.

LogMeIn Ignition on the iPad makes it much easier to do things that you can hardly do when running the app on the iPhone, such as managing Windows 7's Media Center. Dong Ngo/CNET

I have been using the iPhone version of the app for a long time, and though it works well, the tiny screen of the phone makes it hard to move around . On the iPad, the entire screen of the remote computer can be fully viewed and users can get a lot done with minimum amount of zooming in and out. This also means it's now much easier to pinpoint exactly where you want to click than it is on the iPhone.

For the first time, I actually could access my Media Center computer at home from within LogMeIn Ignition to change the TV recording schedules, a task that is almost impossible when done with the iPhone. The new version for the iPad also displays different resolutions of the remote computer, making it easier to fit on the screen.

LogMeIn Ignition for the iPad is not perfect, however. The mouse is still a little clunky to use. You can choose to either move the mouse, where the iPad screen works just like a mouse pad, or keep the mouse in the middle and move the item you want to click on to it. The mouse moves rather slowly and there's no option to change its speed. It would be much better if the mouse would just jump to the point on the screen that you tap on.

To make up for this LogMeIn Ignition supports the two-finger tap for right-clicking, which saves you from having to manually switch between click functions on the app's tool bar.

If you have already purchased LogMeIn Ignition for the iPhone, the upgrade that adds support for the iPad is free. Otherwise, the app costs $29.99, which is not cheap. However, if you could pay $500 for a toy that's as cool as the iPad, it's worth it to pay another $30 to make it actually useful.

 

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