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Last post Author Topic: remote control of pc via android phone  (Read 7623 times)

kalos

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remote control of pc via android phone
« on: February 19, 2015, 03:51:41 AM »
hello!

is there a way to control my laptop via my android phone?

I basically want to wake it up from sleeping, browse it as usual, open files, transfer files, perform actions, run and kill programs, etc and then make it sleep again

is that possible?

or the only way to wake up a sleeping laptop is via hardware, eg click the power button or open the lid, etc?

thanks!

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 05:39:54 AM »
Fing - Scan network and send WoL (Wake on LAN) packets.
ES File Explorer - Copy/open files on network computers.
Microsoft Remote Desktop - Remote PC access (works better than any other Android remote app I've tried).

You need your laptop set to wake when it receives WoL packets which is usually in the BIOS.

Stoic Joker

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 06:38:30 AM »
Microsoft Remote Desktop - Remote PC access (works better than any other Android remote app I've tried).

Really?! I've always been a bit to skeptical (to try it) about the screen size making it impossible to do effectively ...(yes I am playing the tiny text/old guy card here)... But you're saying it is actually a viable option?

kalos

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 07:49:43 AM »
Fing - Scan network and send WoL (Wake on LAN) packets.
ES File Explorer - Copy/open files on network computers.
Microsoft Remote Desktop - Remote PC access (works better than any other Android remote app I've tried).

You need your laptop set to wake when it receives WoL packets which is usually in the BIOS.

thanks for this!
but isn't ES File Explorer's purpose already satisfied with Microsoft Remote Desktop ? I mean can't I open/transfer etc files via the latter?


Vurbal

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 09:56:38 AM »
Microsoft Remote Desktop - Remote PC access (works better than any other Android remote app I've tried).

Really?! I've always been a bit to skeptical (to try it) about the screen size making it impossible to do effectively ...(yes I am playing the tiny text/old guy card here)... But you're saying it is actually a viable option?

I'm curious about this as well. Back when I had my first Android phone, and app options were significantly more limited, I used a VNC client to remote into my HTPC. It was more convenient than using a keyboard and mouse, but extremely clumsy, and something I used as little as possible. Ironically, I'd expect to have more problems with the Galaxy Note 2 I have now. The screen real estate is more than twice my ancient HTC POS, but the dot pitch is less than half.

Besides readability, I'd be concerned about touch UI precision, or, perhaps more accurately, inaccuracy of the hammers I have in place of normal fingertips. VNC would have been practically unusable without the optical trackpad button on my old POS HTC, and I imagine I would be fine using the active stylus on my Galaxy Note, but I'm hesitant to rely on an app where it's practically a requirement.

I haven't used RDP for several years and multiple generations. Does it (or even just the Android app) still limit you to a preset resolution, or is there a more advanced zoom feature? Perhaps even more importantly for me, since I could probably do practically everything I'd use it for blindfolded, does it provide a touch oriented alternative to the standard RDP hotkeys?
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Jibz

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 01:07:40 PM »
There is also a TeamViewer app that lets you control a PC, and Chrome remote desktop, which I haven't tried.

Edit: I didn't read the part about being able to wake up the PC, sorry -- these will only allow remote control of a running machine I think.

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 03:30:16 PM »
@SJ & Vurbal: YMMV naturally, I'd tried other forms of remote access apps but I'll stick with the Microsoft one until something else comes along that's better for my use.

Instead of having you immediately trying to move the mouse pointer or click a button by trying to get your finger in exactly the right spot, (how many of us can see where the pointer is through our finger), it defaults to moving the mouse pointer by moving your finger anywhere on screen - you don't need to stick your finger on the pointer.  You can position the mouse precisely and then tap anywhere on screen for an LMB click or two-finger tap for RMB.

You can zoom in/out as usual to expand a portion of the screen but I find I don't need to do that for pointer positioning, sometimes for reading something.

You can also switch to the normal method of the mouse being positioned under your finger if you have a bigger screen.

Microsoft RDP is also the only thing that's ever shown me exactly the same thing as I see on the computers monitor unlike various forms of VNC I've tried.

And I don't need any third party software/servers to use it.

Not quite sure what you mean Vurbal, gesture support?  Not AFAIK.  There's four or five versions of keyboard interface and what looks like handwriting input, (I think).

* EDIT: Seems like they changed the default, easy to change though - tap the middle of the banner at the top with the computers name in it, (or the Menu button if your phone still has that), then the icon to the right of Tab on the button bar that pops up.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 06:09:08 PM by 4wd »

Jibz

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 03:55:02 PM »
Do I understand it correctly that it only works with pro/ultimate and server versions of Windows?

Stoic Joker

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 04:00:08 PM »
Microsoft RDP is also the only thing that's ever shown me exactly the same thing as I see on the computers monitor unlike various forms of VNC I've tried.

Same here, I've been sold on TS/RDP since the NT4 days ... I just never thought of trying it with/from a phone. But... I guess I'll have to give it a shot (eek!).


Do I understand it correctly that it only works with pro/ultimate and server versions of Windows?

Yes, but there is a hack/patch available to enable it in/for Home Premium (I've never tried it).

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 04:03:34 PM »
Do I understand it correctly that it only works with pro/ultimate and server versions of Windows?

The host side, yes.

Don't know if they've changed that (Still required) for Windows 8 or later though - the ability to run RDP Host is the one of (really) only two reasons I use Pro only now, (the other being able to use policy editors you don't get in the Home versions).

It would help if the OP mentioned a little more detail.

Re. the patch that SJ mentions above, I've used it when I had Win7HP on a computer, worked for me at the time.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 06:15:48 PM by 4wd »

Stoic Joker

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 04:42:48 PM »
This might (be fun to play with) work for the remote wakeup part.

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 05:51:03 PM »
Re. the WoL app, I originally had Wake on LAN WAN installed and it seemed to work, then it stopped - don't know why.

Since I already had Fing installed for LAN survey, I tried it and it worked so I uninstalled the other since I no longer need to wake up the machine over the internet at this point in time.

So perhaps give Wake on LAN WAN a try also.

Just found another input method in the Microsoft RDP app, there's a target in the top banner, (oddly enough it doesn't appear on my tablet, 1440x900), you touch that and the screen zooms with a target in the middle.  Put your finger in the target and you can drag the screen around until what you want is under the target, then tap to open.  Works very well if your phone doesn't have a "standard" Windows resolution, (eg. phone is 800x480).

but isn't ES File Explorer's purpose already satisfied with Microsoft Remote Desktop ? I mean can't I open/transfer etc files via the latter?

Your first post is ambiguous:
is there a way to control my laptop via my android phone?

I basically want to wake it up from sleeping, browse it as usual, open files, transfer files, perform actions, run and kill programs, etc and then make it sleep again

Transfer files from/to where?

If it's from the computer to your phone, (or vv.), then a remote control app isn't necessary - just a file manager that can access your computer by whatever means, (ftp, etc).

Also, FWIW, while I can remote access the computer from my phone using RDP, (or something else), it is a hell of a lot easier to turn on it's WiFi HotSpot and use a tablet.  Considering you can pick up 7" Windows 8 tablets for under AU$100, and Android tablets for a lot less that's what I'd be doing rather than going cross-eyed using a phone.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 06:01:42 PM by 4wd »

Vurbal

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 06:07:16 PM »
@SJ & Vurbal: YMMV naturally, I'd tried other forms of remote access apps but I'll stick with the Microsoft one until something else comes along that's better for my use.

Instead of having you immediately trying to move the mouse pointer or click a button by trying to get your finger in exactly the right spot, (how many of us can see where the pointer is through our finger), it defaults to moving the mouse pointer by moving your finger anywhere on screen - you don't need to stick your finger on the pointer.  You can position the mouse precisely and then tap anywhere on screen for an LMB click or two-finger tap for RMB.

You can zoom in/out as usual to expand a portion of the screen but I find I don't need to do that for pointer positioning, sometimes for reading something.

You can also switch to the normal method of the mouse being positioned under your finger if you have a bigger screen.

Microsoft RDP is also the only thing that's ever shown me exactly the same thing as I see on the computers monitor unlike various forms of VNC I've tried.

And I don't need any third party software/servers to use it.

I'm not a huge fan of VNC either, and it's more than just that issue. The VNC servers I've used also seem prone to suddenly develop fatal connection problems with no error messages or clear indication of what suddenly changed. IIRC I only used it on that Android phone because there was no reasonably priced RDP client available at the time. I want to say I only found one, and it was something like $25. I'd have paid that if it was a work thing, but not for my minimal home use at the time.

Quote
Not quite sure what you mean Vurbal, gesture support?  Not AFAIK.  There's four or five versions of keyboard interface and what looks like handwriting input, (I think).

I'm not exactly clear on what I mean either. ;D  Mostly I was trying to ask an open ended question, without over explaining what I meant. I know, who would ever accuse me of that?

So here's the verbose version. The Windows RDP client has variations on the standard Windows keyboard shortcuts like Alt-Tab for switching Windows. They're not the same ones you use for your local Windows session, for obvious reasons. Those are great for a standard keyboard/mouse oriented interface, but using a keyboard is doing things the long way on a touchscreen.

The equivalent to hotkeys in a touch interface, when there is one, is typically some sort of multitouch gesture, like when you pinch to zoom. On Android there's also the menu button, but, for various reasons, I can't imagine that being used (or useful) as an alternative to the keyboard shortcuts. I figured if there was something equivalent, it would involve a capability also available in Windows Phone, which brings me back to gestures.

It would surprise me to see, but I didn't want to dismiss the possibility out of hand. Microsoft developers tend to be very good when the suits get out of their way.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 06:37:13 PM »
The equivalent to hotkeys in a touch interface, when there is one, is typically some sort of multitouch gesture, like when you pinch to zoom. On Android there's also the menu button, but, for various reasons, I can't imagine that being used (or useful) as an alternative to the keyboard shortcuts. I figured if there was something equivalent, it would involve a capability also available in Windows Phone, which brings me back to gestures.

Ah, I see - this link gives the basic gestures available: Getting Started with Remote Desktop Client on Android

And if the host is a Windows 8 computer you also have access to it's touch screen gestures, (as per the note near the bottom of that page).

Haven't found something for Alt-Tab yet which is rather annoying now that you've brought it up - might be worth putting an email to MS support asking about it, (haven't really needed that since it's easy to hit the Taskbar or SysTray for the stuff I use).

Vurbal

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2015, 06:57:39 PM »
The equivalent to hotkeys in a touch interface, when there is one, is typically some sort of multitouch gesture, like when you pinch to zoom. On Android there's also the menu button, but, for various reasons, I can't imagine that being used (or useful) as an alternative to the keyboard shortcuts. I figured if there was something equivalent, it would involve a capability also available in Windows Phone, which brings me back to gestures.

Ah, I see - this link gives the basic gestures available: Getting Started with Remote Desktop Client on Android

And if the host is a Windows 8 computer you also have access to it's touch screen gestures, (as per the note near the bottom of that page).

Haven't found something for Alt-Tab yet which is rather annoying now that you've brought it up - might be worth putting an email to MS support asking about it, (haven't really needed that since it's easy to hit the Taskbar or SysTray for the stuff I use).

That's actually more than I was expecting, and there is, apparently significant support for using an external mouse. I'd be more inclined to use it with a tablet than a phone anyway, which presumably is what they had in mind.

Of course, at that point I'd rather just stick with my Win8 Transformer Book. The touchpad and keyboard are both kind of pathetic, but, at least the way I use it, they're just there to supplement the touchscreen anyway.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

rgdot

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2015, 08:55:37 PM »
Have now discovered Fing, thanks 4wd   :up:

4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2015, 01:46:09 AM »
Have now discovered Fing, thanks 4wd   :up:

You're welcome ... but you could have had the benefit of it for almost 4 years  ;)

Deozaan

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2015, 02:07:23 AM »
This doesn't address the WOL aspect of your desires, but FWIW, I used to use TeamViewer to remote to my PC with pretty good results. But I've since moved on to Chrome Remote Desktop (by Google). It suits my needs a lot better, especially since I got a BT keyboard for my Android device for when I'm really trying to accomplish something remotely (as opposed to e.g., just copying a file into a shared folder so it will sync with my phone/tablet).

Of course, it requires you install Chrome and the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on your PC. I'd recommend it. :Thmbsup:

(And I still keep TeamViewer installed as a backup in the rare cases where CRD somehow fails to meet my needs.)


kalos

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2015, 01:25:56 PM »
guys can you describe please the steps to take to have access to my laptop from my android phone?

I downloaded the microsoft android app, but what's next?

it asks me to input some ip etc

do I have to install something on my laptop?

thanks!

Deozaan

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2015, 02:24:29 PM »
If you use TeamViewer you'll need:

On your PC:
TeamViewer -- I got the All-in-One version

On your Android:
TeamViewer

Then just sign into your account on both devices and you should be able to access your laptop without needing to know any IP address or anything.




For Chrome Remote Desktop, you'll need:

On your PC:
Chrome
Chrome Remote Desktop

On your Android:
Chrome Remote Desktop

You'll need to configure the CRD extension on your PC and assign your PC a name and PIN. After that, you should be able to access it from your Android using the PIN without needing an IP or anything.


kalos

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2015, 02:41:42 PM »
oh sht, I am out of luck

I hate teamviewer (I prefer the much better Ammyy) and I am extremely disappointed by chrome, as it installs a taskbar shortcut itself every time I run it!

can't I do it via that microsoft remote desktop? I like the idea not to have an installed app in my laptop and this microsoft program may work directly with Windows

mouser

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2015, 03:44:10 PM »
Just wanted to say thanks for this thread, coming in handy  :up:

Deozaan

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2015, 03:55:58 PM »
can't I do it via that microsoft remote desktop? I like the idea not to have an installed app in my laptop and this microsoft program may work directly with Windows

Yes, you probably can. But I don't use the Microsoft app/program, so I can't tell you how to do it.

If it's asking for an IP, you probably need to use some sort of Dynamic DNS/IP updater which will allow you point a domain name at your computer at all times, no matter what the IP address is for your computer.


4wd

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2015, 04:14:06 PM »
@kalos: you haven't told us what version of Windows you're running.

kalos

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Re: remote control of pc via android phone
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2015, 04:28:33 PM »
Windows 8.1 (it continuously updates itself lol)