SplashtopPrice: $1.99     Score: 9/10    Category: Business

While not the first app to allow users to remotely access their PC or Mac desktop from their iPads or iPhones, Splashtop has quickly leapfrogged the rest to become the best.

By giving users access to nearly every bit of content on their home computer, including streaming music, games, documents, and videos (including Flash), Splashtop is an invaluable resource for folks on the go.

To set up Splashtop Remote Desktop, you first must download the application onto your PC. I used an aging laptop running Windows 7. Setting up the application took under three minutes, and before I knew it, my desktop was up and running on my iPad.

The interface for using Splashtop on your iOS device is intuitive, yet may take some time to learn. Simply tap your finger on the screen to “click”. Holding down your finger simulates a “right click”, while tapping two fingers simulates a “mouse over”. Dragging two fingers scrolls a window, and dragging three fingers scrolls a screen. A small keyboard icon resides at the bottom right of the screen. Selecting it brings up the virtual keyboard.

Once I was up and running, I ran some tests. Web-surfing worked well, and accessing Flash videos and games on my iPad was quite liberating indeed. I was able to access Excel spreadsheets, view personal pictures and videos, and play simple games like Solitaire on my PC. I can’t imagine playing high-end PC games through Splashtop due to use of the virtual keyboard, but Splashtop claims it’s possible.

But then I thought I’d try something crazy: remotely accessing a second computer through Splashtop using Citrix. Not the most practical application, but I was interested to see how Splashtop handled virtually controlling two PCs at once. Happily, Splashtop came through with flying colors as there was virtually no lag when operating both PCs through one connection on my iPad.

Bottom Line: Splashtop Remote Desktop really is a magnificent product, and perfect for business applications and those simply looking to access their PCs from anywhere in the house.

Splashtop Remote Desktop is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.

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