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LogMeIn to come to iPhone

LogMeIn makes an LogMeIn Ignition app for the iPhone, and the preview version works well.

UPDATED: Corrected LogMeIn spelling.

Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

It's great to be able to log in your computer remotely. It's convenient, it saves gas, hassle, and most importantly, time. Personally I've used LogMeIn for a long time and loved it.

The company has actually been cooking up an application for the iPhone (and iPod Touch), too, called LogMeIn Ignition. I tried out the preview version of the app on my iPhone 3G and was impressed overall.

First off, it works! I was able to log in to any Windows machine where I have the Logmein client installed and view its desktop on my iPhone's screen. The app allows for viewing the entire scaled-down screen of the remote computer or zooming in to a potion of it, just like you would view a photo or a Web page on the iPhone.

While viewing is easy, interacting with the remote computer is a different story. It was fairly easy for me to type. When a user-input area is selected, you can pop up the onscreen keyboard of the iPhone to type just like composing a text message. On the other hand, it's much more cumbersome to use the mouse. As there's no mouse on the iPhone, the app designates single tab as single click, double tab as double click, two-finger tab as right click, and so on.

In practice, however, it is hard to pinpoint the place that you want to click on. In my experience, when I clicked on a link on the iPhone screen, the mouse on the remote computer would click on a point half an inch below, possibly due to the lag. The app also easily mistakes a two-finger tab as a zooming action. It took me a while to get used to it and compensate accordingly. In the end, I was even able to conduct a video chat on the remote computer, which was really cool.

With LogMeIn Ignition you can even do video calling at the remote computer. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

Performance-wise, the app worked well on a Wi-Fi connection. The 3G connection also worked when viewing but registered so much lag when I wanted to type or use mouse clicks. It was not possible for me to get connected via a GPRS connection connection at all. It was also helpful if you run the Logmein Ignition as the first app up after restarting the iPhone, or else you might run into a message prompting that the device is running low on memory.

In all, the app has a lot of potential. It's unclear when it will be available in the App Store and if it will be free. Whether or not it will be, I would still recommend it to anyone who has an iPhone or iPod Touch and an account with Logmein.