LogMeIn Ignition in Review – Holy crap, it’s Windows 7 on my iPhone!

Wouldn’t it be great to have the full power of the desktop right at your fingertips? Ok, so a full-featured virtual machine is probably a bit utopian right now – just remember how slowly Windows 95 runs on the iPad. But it is possible! Today, I’ll be reviewing LogMeIn Ignition, an excellent remote access app that allows you to control your desktop right from the comforts of your favorite iDevice.

There are plenty of remote access apps available on the AppStore. So what makes LogMeIn different? Well first of all, let’s weed out all of the competition that uses standard protocols like VNC or RDP – while they have the advantage of not requiring a dedicated server installation (usually at least), configuring the server side is often an issue for many. And I’m not even talking about the nightmare of setting up port forwarding, which turns into a completely impossible task if you’re behind a corporate firewall.

Now that we’re left with remote apps that are more or less in the same class, let’s see where LogMeIn stands out. The installation of the desktop component is very easy and only requires a free LogMeIn.com sign-up and a few clicks on the site. Then just click through the local client installation wizard, enter a password and voilà – your PC appears in the list of available for remote access. And here we come to the first point where LogMeIn shines – FREE remote control over any webbrowser!

On the iPhone side it’s even simpler; just load up the app, put in your account details and you’re good to go with all of the desktops available for remote control synced automatically along with their availability status. And from there you’re only a tap away from your desktop. As an additional bonus, LogMeIn identifies the local account used for the desktop and requires you to enter it’s password as an additional security layer.

Once connected you’re presented with your main desktop. Why do I say “main”? Well, here’s the second point where LogMeIn really shines – full support for multiple display set-up! Just shake your iDevice and you’ll be switched to the next desktop! In the default mode, the cursor is frozen in the center of the iPhone screen and instead of moving it, you’re panning the whole viewing area. While this is kind of freaky at the beginning, you should soon get used to it and it actually becomes very intuitive. If you’re a bit conservative, you can switch to the more common touchpad mode where you move the cursor on the viewing area freely and the screen pans when the cursor is at the edges.

The various click combos are done intuitively using multitouch, i.e. Right click is done by holding one finger and tapping with the second, pinch-to-zoom, etc. The typing is done using the standard iPhone keyboard and it does work well. You’ll also find an additional bar at the top of the screen, where the special PC function keys like Ctrl, Alt and Win are located. Overall the interface leaves a good impression, though I would like to see a full-touch option.

The third point where LogMeIn is at the top of the game is performance – you can choose the resolution and colour mode to suite your bandwidth, with an excellent compression option available to further enhance your control experience.

LogMeIn is without a doubt a top-of-the-line remote control solution for the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. It combines the ease of installation and configuration, free web-access component, excellent performance and intuitive easy-to-use interface with support for multiple displays. It has allowed me to stop hulking around my work laptop and instead hook up to it remotely, be it via the iPhone or my home laptop (web interface). If you find yourself in a similar situation or simply wish to have all of your PCs easily accessible from anywhere – LogMeIn Ignition is an excellent choice.

With this I declare LogMeIn Ignition officially touched!

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App Summary
Title: LogMeIn IgnitionDeveloper: LogMeIn, Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.1.138Min OS Req:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. 3.0
Price:$29.99App Size:3.9 MB
  • Easy setup with proxy-tunneling over Https
  • Intuitive interface
  • Multiple-display support
  • Excellent performance configurable for any bandwidth
  • FREE browser remote-control option
  • No touch-only control scheme

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