There are plenty of apps in the App Store for using your iPhone to remotely control your Mac. I’ve tested plenty of remote apps for the iPhone. Some of them are ok. Some of them are unbearable.
Recently, I stumbled across Edovia Software’s TouchPad app. TouchPad is by far the best, all-in-one remote app for the iPhone…
TouchPad’s design aesthetics and attention to detail is stunning.
The interface looks like it was designed in Cupertino. The trackpad supports portrait and landscape mode. The color of the trackpad is identical to the color of the physical trackpad on MacBooks and the Magic Trackpad, which is a nice design choice.
You’re given plenty of room for your finger to mouse around. And yes, gestures are supported. TouchPad supports up to 4 finger gestures, as well as two finger scrolling and three finger swiping. You can even pinch to zoom your Mac’s screen. I noticed absolutely no lag or glitches with the mouse tracking.
On top of a wonderful trackpad, TouchPad offers a robust virtual keyboard and slick remote interface.
Most apps like TouchPad have a virtual keyboard of some kind. What sets TouchPad apart is the secondary keys bar that has keys like ⌘ and ⌥. Secondary keys translate to Apple shortcuts. And TouchPad handles keyboard shortcuts beautifully. You can use all of the ⌘-H and ⌘-Q type shortcuts that you can think of. It’s really quite wonderful.
There is also a directional arrows pane of the keyboard just in case you ever have the need. My only complaint with the keyboard would be the placement of the secondary keys bar. It seems more intuitive to have the secondary keys at the bottom of the keyboard. I think that it would make typing faster with shortcuts faster. Plus, it would be nearly identical to Apple’s physical keyboard set-up.
The remote app is quite nice as well. There’s nothing super special about it, but it looks nice in low-level lighting (like a home theatre) and it interfaces with all of the presentation apps like Front Row, VLC, Boxee and Hulu Desktop.
The biggest problem that I’ve found with remote-type apps like TouchPad is the need for desktop server software to be running for the app to work. TouchPad dissolves that problem.
TouchPad connects to your Mac through screen sharing. All you need to do is navigate to “Sharing” in System Preferences and turn “Screen Sharing” on. Once your iPhone is on the same wifi network, it will recognize your Mac and pair TouchPad right up.
TouchPad is the ideal app for remotely controlling your Mac. It’s perfect for a Mac Mini home theatre set-up, or just controlling your Mac from a slight distance.
I am very impressed with TouchPad. Overall, I give the app a rating of ★★★★★
Pick up TouchPad in the App Store for $4.99. The app is universal, and it works wonderfully on the iPad as well.
What do you think? Do you have a remote app of choice on the iPhone?