Google Remote Desktop for Android Review

Technology article by JR Moore on Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 09:00
Topic(s): Google

Yesterday Google took the beta tag off on one of its neatest apps out there. The Google Remote Desktop program will allow you to securely remote control your computer from any Android device, just as long as it’s Ice Cream Sandwich and above. How does it handle? Take a look below.

Setup is easy as it is a chrome extension that you download from the web store. Once installed and the proper permissions are given. You give it a 6+ digit code for this computer. It is now linked to your Google Account. You will be able to log in and manipulate the other computer with the mouse and keyboard. (Protip: to right-click from your device, use two fingers). You have full access of the computer and are able to point and click anything you would like. There is hardly any lag on the computer system and the device, be it phone -> computer or computer -> computer.

The big issue that this has is that the movements are too free. The mouse has a very liberating afterscroll. Another big issue is that the remote desktop does not work with the Metro interface of Windows 8. Once it switches to the tile mode it does not show up. It only works with the Windows Desktop. You have very limited options currently, the manipulation of the computer and being able to change how it looks on the remote screen is about it for now. Hopefully they will add other features in the future but it is a good start.

Compared to things that are already out there, this is as basic as you can get. There are other remote desktop programs that have Android Apps that work just as well and give you even more control over the client computer. Teamviewer is a great example of this. It also adds in file transfers and can even record the session. You can access a chat interface along with webcam and session recording if you need that.

With something like Teamviewer being the Swiss Army of free remote desktop programs, you could call the Google Remote Desktop application the butter knife. It will do the basics, and that will work for the majority of users that would use this app. Did you forget to e-mail a file or want a picture off your computer? No problem this will be good. Anything more than that and you won’t get far. With needing things like file transfer or connect to the other person on the other side, you’re going to have to use something else. I’m sure eventually there will be Google Drive integration for file transfers and Hangouts for connecting, but until then…there are better apps in the sea.

Try it out for yourself by getting the app in the Google Play Store and the extension in the Chrome Web Store. It will be coming out for iOS soon.

About the Author

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JR Moore

JR Moore is the Former Chief Editor at TechRaptor. When he's not living life, he's connected to an Xbox, a phone or tablet checking out the latest and greatest.