Three free remote-access apps for iPhones

...and iPads, though pixel-doubling is no substitute for paid apps that support full-screen viewing.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

The App Store is home to numerous apps that let you connect to a desktop PC from afar. Granted, navigating Windows on a screen as comparatively tiny as the iPhone's is not a lot of fun, but it works better than you'd expect.

TeamViewer brings powerful remote-access features to your iPhone, yet it doesn't cost a dime.

Indeed, I've used remote-access (or "RA") software many times for simple tasks like e-mailing a file, peeking at a document, and even shutting down the PC (when I'm too lazy to walk down a flight of stairs).

My RA app of choice? LogMeIn Ignition, which works even better on the iPad than it does on the iPhone. Just one problem: it costs $29.99. (Ironically, the required desktop counterpart, LogMeIn Free, costs nothing.)

Thankfully, I've found a handful of free RA apps. (There are others, but I'm focusing on the three I know best.)

First up: RDM+ lite, a new, ad-supported version of the $9.99 full version. (For the same price you can buy the iPad version.) RDM+ is noteworthy for supporting both Mac and Windows systems--you just need to download the proper desktop client.

Next, there's JumiMouse, which in its early days merely turned your iPhone into a touch pad, but has evolved into a more complete remote-access app. The free version is a bit limited in that you can't interact with your PC when you zoom in at all (which is quite necessary for most functions). Thankfully, JumiMouse Plus costs just $1.99. Note that this one's Windows-only.

Finally, my favorite freebie: TeamViewer, a full-featured, Mac/Windows-compatible remote-access app. It has no ads and no limitations to speak of. Plus, it did a better job on my iPad than either of the other two apps--though pixel doubling is just no substitute for an HD version. You can read my full coverage of TeamViewer over at Business Hacks.

Well, those are my three freebies. Have you found another free remote-access app you like better? Or at least one that doesn't cost 30 bucks?