Control Your Mac from an iPhone

May 16, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the popular uses of the current range of iMac computers is to set it up as a key element of a home media center. Certainly with the large screen dimensions that are available this makes perfect sense, and with the wireless keyboard and mouse options you might consider this to be a ready-made solution.

There is a drawback, though; you might find that your keyboard or mouse don’t work too well from across the room. In this case, you would need some useful additional hardware – which of course means extra cost.

However you might be interested to learn that with the right iPhone or iPad app, you can control your Mac remotely, allowing for a variety of interesting possibilities!

Control your Mac with an iPhone or iPad!

Control Your Mac Remotely

Using an iPhone or an iPad, visit the App Store and search for Mobile Mouse Pro (different versions are available for each device). While this low-cost app is downloading, switch to your Mac and visit www.mobilemouse.com to download the counterpart application for your computer (note that this is suitable for PowerPC Macs as well as Intel computers; there is also a Windows version).

Once downloaded, double-click the file to install it and follow any on-screen prompts. Depending on your version of OS X you may need to restart your Mac.

Next, confirm that your iPhone/iPad and your Mac are all connected to the same wireless network, and look for the desktop application in the menu bar – it should launch automatically when you start your computer.

Configuring and Using Mobile Mouse

It is worth spending a few minutes configuring the desktop software for Mobile Mouse; in the main menu, the Server Settings screen can be used to set a password which is useful for various reasons, not least security!

Using Mobile Mouse is remarkably easy. Begin by launching the app on your iPhone or iPad and then tap the Settings cog in the top-left corner of the display. This will prompt the app to look for your Mac, and you will be able to choose your computer and connect to it.

With Mobile Mouse running on your iOS device and your Mac you will be able to use your handheld device as a portable multi-touch trackpad and keyboard!

This is really is a useful tool. While the iPhone version will list all available apps for you to launch, the iPad version includes a representation of the OS X dock. There are some many things you can do with Mobile Mouse beyond pressing Play and Pause on downloaded movies and streamed TV – for instance, it makes a great Keynote or PowerPoint remote when giving presentations, and you can even customize the app with user-defined control layouts! Note however that as a wireless app, you might experience some delay depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi network and any possible interference.

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