There is certainly no need to talk and write about how incredibly technology and innovative devices have made their way through the market and everything is easily accessible to all at once. This, however, bears some disadvantages since being selective is a very tedious task for the technology users. Therefore, I would like to briefly mention some amazing apps that might make your job -whether it is teaching English, presenting some academic stuff at conferences, or taking care of your baby at home- highly easy with only few steps to set up and go! In fact, in this post, I would like to focus on a certain category of apps that I have also been using a lot and about which I have really unbelievable memories while teaching. The category of apps I want to share is ‘remote-access- apps with which you can control your PC/MAC or any other devices and see the display on your mobile device; type something by accessing keyboard as well; control your multimedia player; or even access your webcam to see through the eyes of your computer. No need to mention that you need to be connected to the Internet to be able to use these awesome apps. A final remark is that although most of these apps are free and have lite versions, you might need to pay to own pro versions, or another limitation could be to have iOS since they might not be available on other platforms.
1. Jump Desktop
The first app I will introduce is an app which is one of the must-have apps for me and which I have used a lot while teaching or presenting, or just for fun! The name of the app is Jump Desktop. The first thing that could be important about this app is its price, $14.99; however, it seems that it deserves every penny you spend on the app since it is really easy to set up, by just installing another small server tool on your computer and logging in your google account. Then what you can do is, without the limitations like being connected to the same wi-fi network or being in the same place with your computer, that you can see your computer display on your mobile device and access to the full keyboard and typing functions and move the mouse icon around to give your presentations, type something in while you are showing something on a word processor, etc.
What you can do has no limits with this app, and it has a lot to with your creativity and interests. Another amazing thing is that you can even check your computer while it is at home or work and you having your coffee or somewhere outside. Especially when you are doing something on your computer like downloading a huge file, this function could be helpful. Although there are some other even free alternatives to this app, it is really effective in terms of its capabilities and practicality of set-up process.
Now, I want to introduce another great app with both lite and paid versions. The name is HippoRemote and it is another five-star app that an iPhone user can benefit from. With this app, youcan do all the things except for the option or possibility of accessing your computer display on your mobile phone. That could be the biggest difference when compared to Jump Desktop. However, considering that it has a lite version, and it has a better UI especially when you are accessing to the touchpad or some other keyboard functions are enough to make it an awesome app. Below, you can see what you can do and a screenshot of the app in action. It is really practical to access to keyboard functions in a such an easy way. Another biggest plus for this app comes from its practicality to adjust what you need to do by choosing among the most-used apps on your mobile. What I mean is this: If I am giving a presentation and I need a clicker, you can choose Keynote or PowerPoint and you will have a set template of buttons which will make your job literally easier.
As you can see above, if you are simply listening to music or watching something on your PC, you can access to most commonly used keys and do whatever you need.
The next app is only for iDevice users and the people who use iTunes as their multimedia player. It is ‘Remote’ by Apple and you can access to your iTunes on your computer and control the songs you are listening to or videos you are watching. What is really attractive about this app is it is really simply to set up since iTunes or your app automatically detect each other. What’s more, you can also see the artwork and covers of the songs you are listening on your mobile device while it is playing on your computer. You can see its screenshot below.
Last but not least, there is one more amazing app. JumiCam is one of the practical and amazing Jumi apps that allows you to access to your webcam. If your computer is connected to the Internet, and if you have set it up by simply installing a server app on your computer, you can see through the eyes of your computer. Moreover, you can access to your sound system which means you can listen through the microphone of your computers and speak through the speakers. Practical uses could be to be able to watch someone you care for such as your baby or kids especially when you have a home-computer, or see what is going on where your computer is. In fact, fun aspect is also a lot of for this app. I am sure everybody has to leave the class for a few seconds and you can imagine what you can do when it is active and your computer is connected to a surround system in your class. You can speak to and amaze your students when you are not physically in class. I am sure you can also do lots of things and integrate it into some classroom activities thanks to your creativity.
All in all, there is no limit to what you can do by using your computers and mobile devices. If you think that these apps could be effective for your personal or professional use, you can comment below and even add your favorite remote-access apps that could be beneficial for the other readers.
Here is a list of other (mostly FREE) apps that you may use or may be using to ease your personal/academic life! I have experienced all of the apps below and I am sure there are some that can appeal to you as well.