PRemoteDroid is a useful free app for those of you who have HTPCs (Home Theatre PCs) or do presentations for work. It basically allows you to use your Android phone’s touchscreen as a touchpad mouse and your keyboard to input text – all wirelessly! Not only that, there is a file explorer and screen capture feature. Pretty neat. Hit the jump to read more about the features and installation.
The file explorer feature allows you to view pictures or play media that is stored on your computer. Open it up and you basically see your drives – allowing you to navigate through your hard drives files and folders. When you click on a file, it will use the default viewer or player for that file type on your PC making a nice way to change music or share pictures with family and guests.
The screen capture is a little less useful, but still an interesting addition to the software. Basically, it acts as a mini-viewer on your phone, showing you the area where your mouse is hovering on your computer’s screen. You can see an example of this in the top image. Since you can’t see your whole computer screen, it’s more eyecandy then anything, but it may have its uses. I would just use a remote desktop app like VNC instead of using the screen capture feature personally. Thankfully it can be disabled, as it made my mouse movements a little laggy.
The app does require additional software installed on your PC which you can grab here for free. It allows you to connect to your computer over wifi or bluetooth which is convenient especially if you are doing a presentation on your laptop and there is no wifi present. It is also password protected so other people don’t try and hijack control of your PC.
Installation is pretty straight forward, but it might be a little confusing if you aren’t familiar with networking.
- First make sure you have installed the server on your computer and the app on your Android phone
- Open the app on your phone and add a new connection by hitting your menu button > Connections
- Hit menu again and click > New
- Choose Wifi or Bluetooth
- Now go to your computer you installed the server on and right click on the PRemoteDroid Server icon in your system tray
- Click on either Wifi Server or Bluetooth Server, a box will popup and give you the info to put into the blank boxes on your Android phone
- Click Save, then go back to the black screen with 3 mouse buttons at the top and you’re done
If you are having any issues, make sure your phone is connected to your wireless access point if using wifi, and make sure you have bluetooth on your computer and have paired your phone with your computer before if you want to use bluetooth.
Some of the little things this app included are what makes it my favorite remote control app such as the ability to scroll down a page by scrolling down the right side of your phone’s screen (it’s invisible, but it’s there). I also like the *click* audio and haptic feedback via vibration. Did I mention it has all 3 mouse buttons on it? (yes, I use the middle click). Give it a shot and tell us how it works out for you in the comments.