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Chrome Remote Desktop comes to iPhone/iPad

Barry Collins
13 Jan 2015
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Google offers another way to access your PC from your iOS devices

Google has released its remote desktop tool for iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to control their PC from their iPhone or iPad. Google has long provided a Chrome browser plugin that allows you to take remote control of your PC from other computers or Android devices. It was initially intended as a means of letting Chromebook users run full PC software, but its remit has since expanded. 

To set up the service, users need to install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on their iPhone or iPad, and then install the plugin for the Chrome browser on their PC (Windows or Linux) or Mac. Once installed, users will be able to remotely log in to any switched on computer running the plugin. You will need to enter a pre-determined six-digit PIN code to gain access.

The app's not only useful for tunnelling into your own computers, it can also be used to deliver remote technical support to less computer literate friends and family. The person needing help will need to share a 12-digit code generated by the application before the helper can gain access to their PC.

Unlike many remote desktop applications for iPhone/iPad, Chrome Remote Desktop doesn't change the PC's native resolution to that of the tablet, and if you're running multiple displays on your connected PC, you can simply scroll between them using the iPad, which is unusual. However, the Google app isn't as fully featured as rivals such as TeamViewer, which includes features such as shortcuts for the Windows 8 Charms and the Control Panel. 

Curiously, and brilliantly spotted by The Register, the Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS is given an age rating of 17+, presumably because innocent kiddywinks could use the app to escape Apple's walled garden and browse for smut on their iPhones. Given that three quarters of parents have no idea their kids can bypass net filters, that's probably quite a sensible precaution by Google and Apple. 

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