Remote Desktop Solutions for Android

In Computer Software, Internet by UserHaven Admin

My intent is to make this post into a comprehensive review regarding just about every kind of RD (Remote Desktop) / RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) solution there is for android. Over time I’ll add more android rd/rdp solutions as I try them, and yes, I know rdp is a windows protocol.

I’ve got an Asus TF700t with the mobile dock to take with me when I commute to a nearby town, which I do every weekday. Not wanting to be without my precious desktop applications when I’m gone, I’m trying out different rd/rdp solutions for android. My laptop at home is an acer aspire at ~6lbs & 18.4″ running Windows 7 Ultimate; yes I could lug it around, but last time I did that I broke the power connector and it would suck to have to replace it a second time.

So let’s get started with the different rd/rdp apps there are out there on the Google Play market place. I’ve tried quite a few (not all mind you, but many) and boy…there are VERY FEW rdp solutions out there that don’t suck.

Kinoni

To clarify, I only tried the free version. This is a horrible app. You have to install a server app on your desktop, which you can conveniently link to your Google account, that’s about the only positive though. When you open the app on your android, you can log into your Google account and see any/all desktops you have linked to the same Google account. Once connected, you are greeted with a horrible fuzzy screen and just some all around awful rendering quality. I didn’t really bother to test most connectivity or external keyboard support just because even if they did work, why would you want to work on a low-res fuzzy screen anyway? Could it improve if I bought the full version? Maybe, but I’m of the mind that says, ‘if the free version sucks, why should I buy the full version?’

OmniDesk

>groan< Well, this is another terrible rdp app. It recognizes the rdp protocol, so there’s no need to install a host server on your desktop if you’re running windows; just plug-‘n-play for ultra convenient suck-y-ness. There are a limited number of resolutions you can choose from, 1200×600 being the highest, but for some reason¬† I don’t even think it was running at that resolution.

AndroWin

This app is a bit more workable. It requires a small server app running on the host machine, and allows Internet wi-fi or blue-tooth connection, but you have to specify which you intend to use in order to use it. Unfortunately, when you first start out, the screen is completely unworkable, it’s all torn into thin lines, but when you use your two fingers to zoom in, or out, the picture fixes itself. Another draw-back, is that in my case I had to tap the mouse mode in the settings from the default in order to get the mouse to work. It makes use of a high & low quality picture mode to sort-of speed things up in terms of responsiveness. Though when I switched between them, the change in image quality was more noticeable than any performance boost it may have offered. When in high quality picture mode, the picture itself is excellent and it runs at the native resolution of my desktop (1680 x 945). But the setbacks are still more numerous, there’s no sound transfered to your device, and the mouse is unable to click ‘n drag. I was able to open some apps but my use was hampered by the inability to click ‘n drag and in low-quality picture mode some elements of the screen would not render.

vWorkspace

This app supports rdp so there’s no need for a host app. One of the nice things is that it runs your desktop at its native resolution, and it looks quiet sharp. Apparently though, it can’t handle 32bit color because, even though most everything rendered okay, some of the colors were a bit off. Despite being able to deliver a mostly accurate picture, this app is far too frustrating to use to get any work done because of its spotty keyboard support. I wasn’t able to use my tablet’s external keyboard and even most the keys for the on-screen keyboard wouldn’t register. On the flip side of that though, this app has one of the most responsive satellite mouse features I’ve seen so far, supporting both right & left-click. Of course, in the end, it’s just far too frustrating to use to get anything done since the keyboard support is so poor.

LogMeIn

This requires the host machine to run a server app for the client to log on. You can adjust the picture quality from HD down to grayscale for a more responsive experience.The mouse recognizes a left & right-click function, and you can use the special key bar up top to insert SHIFT, CRTL, or ALT. The on-screen android keyboard is recognized too but sometimes the special keys don’t work, thus the special key bar from LogMeIn up top of your screen. As far as resolutions go, LogMeIn can handle pretty much any resolution that your host & client machine can. I’m comfortable with using LogMeIn to get any kind of office or homework type of work done. LogMeIn can render directX, meaning it will show 3D real-time applications, games and such, but the frame-rate is rather poor under those conditions. However, LogMeIn handles video just well enough so that you can kind of tell what the video is about.

App Mouse Keyboard Do Office Work
 frame-rate Color Render Quality
Kinoni remote, left-click on-screen & ext somewhat poor 32bit poor
OmniDesk satellite, remote, left-click on-screen & ext somewhat poor 32bit okay
Andro-Win remote, left & right-click on-screen & ext yes fair 32bit excellent
vWorkspace remote, satellite, right & left-click on-screen no fair 32 ? good
LogMeIn remote, right & left-click, MMB on-screen, in-app yes good 32 very good