Monday, February 11, 2013

Remote control your PC or Mac with AIO Remote

Like every semester, we had to present this semester's progress of our master project at university. And as usual, I forgot, that even thought I have an Apple Remote, I can't use it to present a PDF using Preview (I created the presentation using LaTeX ;).
Last semester I had an app for OS X that was able to use the Apple Remote data and forward it to Preview, but unfortunately that app was just a trial version and I didn't have time to purchase it 5 minutes before my presentation started – usually I'm well prepared but we have already presented our master project way too often.

Fortunately I was able to find AIO Remote, a handy app for BlackBerry 10 and Android, which can remote control your PC or Mac. There are a lot of other apps out there but this was the first one I found and especially useful, because I'm currently working on my BlackBerry 10 DevAlpha device.
AIO Remote stands for All-In-One Remote which it really is: you can remote control everything – not only presentations. There are predefined remote layouts for PowerPoint (which also works for Preview and probably other apps because it mostly uses the left and right arrow keys), different media players and it's even possible to use the app as a mousepad and keyboard or create custom remote layouts.

In order to use this app, you have to install a lightweight server app on your Mac or PC, which can be downloaded from their homepage – it's compatible with OS X, Windows and Linux. The connection between the devices works via Bluetooth or WiFi, but currently, the Bluetooth-connection is not very reliable and not available on BlackBerry 10 or OS X Mountain Lion.

Finally, I have to say, that this solution to remote control your desktop is great, even thought there are still some features missing or not working good enough. I'm still missing some features, like a clock for the presentation layout to have more than just a remote control. Also, versions for iOS as well as Windows Phone are missing.
What I also found out is, that you can connect multiple devices at once which makes presenting in a group with multiple smartphones even easier.

I initially wrote a similar article for AmbassadorBase (german only) – which I encourage everyone who knows German to visit because my colleagues and I write interesting articles about gadgets and stuff ;)

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