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How to control your PC with Android apps

Sunday, 6 March 2016

1. Remote Control Collection

Remote Control Collection is one of the highest-rated and most popular remote applications on the Play Store, and for good reason too.
This free PC remote application for smartphones and tablets offers up a number of different remotes and functions in a single chunky package. Whilst it's possible to control a computer's keyboard and mouse through a remote device, Remote Control Collection is also capable of managing media files, presentations and more.
The Remote Control Collection is split into six categories, consisting of Mouse, Keyboard, Live Screen (Pro), Media Player (Pro), Slideshows (Pro) and Speech recognition.
Heading to the Android Remote configuration page on your PC will start the process of setting up the app, which requires you to download remote software to your computer, identify your IP address and then pair the app with your handheld gadget. Whilst the process sounds a little dull, it doesn't take much time at all to get up and running.
Remote Control Collection's start page on mobile is split into Remotes and Devices. Using the mouse to control your computer screen is very simple and there's app shortcuts to expand the keyboard so you can use the function keys, copy and paste, zoom and so on. Simply put, Remote Control Collection gets the job done without much fuss.

2. Remote Link (PC Remote)

The Remote Link app arrives courtesy of Asus, which means you'll need a copy of Asus' own Remote Link server software on your computer before you can get going.
Remote Link supports all the features you'd expect and more, including handy multi-pad gestures and Android Wear compatibility. Android Wear functionality is a nice addition, because it means that Asus ZenWatch owners can control a computer-based presentation entirely from the screen of their wearable.
There's also a presentation remote and a media remote compatible with Windows Media Player thrown in for good measure.
If you're a fan of clean app design, then you'll feel right at home exploring all that Remote Link has to offer. The Android remote tool has a clean look to it, and all the menus and their functions are very clearly labeled to avoid any confusion. Asus' remote app is well-reviewed over on the Play Store, with plenty of downloaders complimenting the app's straightforward design.
We've spotted some complaints about the ads built into the experience proving a nuisance, but it's hard to complain too much when the app is free.

3. Chrome Remote Desktop

Google's answer to controlling your PC with an Android smartphone requires a Chrome extension to function, and once you've sorted out a PIN for the remote computer you're ready to go.
Chrome Remote Desktop has been around for a long time and continues to deliver a solid experience, arriving with cross-platform features for both Windows and Mac users. An internet browser running Google Chrome is naturally the only requirement.
As long as you're signed into the same Google account on your smartphone as your computer, the Chrome Remote Desktop app will let you control the PC wirelessly from the mobile's screen. Whilst there's a slight delay while a connection is first established, for the most part you can expect a lag-free experience.
Rotating your smartphone to landscape mode will give a clearer view of your PC desktop, and there's a couple of commonly-used keyboard shortcuts built in to make typing easy.

4. Unified Remote

Unified Remote is crammed with features, coming preloaded with support for over 90 separate programs including a useful file manager tool and media players for music and video files.
This Android-compatible remote app is quick to configure, starring automatic server detection to easily configure your home network. Customizable server passwords are built in and multi-touch mouse control is included.
Meanwhile, Unified Remote has a variety of different themes to choose from, and 18 remotes are bundled into the free package. The full version adds some more tools including voice commands, NFC commands, Android Wear support and more.
Music apps supported by Unified Remote include Spotify, iTunes and Google Music, and streaming addicts can control YouTube, Netflix and Hulu with the remote app too.

5. TeamViewer for Remote Control

TeamViewer for Remote Control is fast and secure, capable of transferring files both to and from various devices.
The TeamViewer remote app is free to download and requires the TeamViewer PC software to function. Download the software, enter your computer's TeamViewer ID and password and then it's full speed ahead.
As expected, full keyboard functionality is on offer, as is multi-monitor support and the option to 'remotely administrate unattended computers'.
The folk behind TeamViewer say that the app can quite easily become a valuable tool in the workplace, but there's enough features included in the download for it to be useful at home too.
TeamViewer for Remote Control is certainly the most business-orientated PC remote app we've covered in our list, but it has many of the same features as its competitors.