Want to remote control your PC from your phone or tablet? You could use a VNC app or a dedicated tool like TeamViewer or SplashTop. But if you’re using the Chrome browser on your desktop, now there’s a new option: Google has launched Chrome Remote Desktop for mobile.
You can install the Android app on your phone or tablet to remote control any PC with the Chrome browser and Chrome Remote Desktop extension enabled. Later this year Chrome Remote Desktop will also be available for iOS.
Fire up the mobile app and you’ll see a list of enabled computers. Choose one, enter your security code, and you can remote control it using touchscreen controls. Need to enter text? Just tap the keyboard icon to bring up your device’s on-screen keyboard.
You can also tap the menu icon to bring up options for sending a Ctrl+Alt+Del keystroke or disconnecting.
Chrome Remote Desktop supports pinch-to-zoom, which comes in handy when you’re trying to view a desktop user interface on a smartphone-sized screen. Dragging your finger across the screen also moves the position of an on-screen cursor. You can tap the screen with one finger to emulate a left-click, or use a two-finger tap for right-clicks.
Overall the app is pretty impressive — frame rates are high enough that video playback looked pretty smooth in my test. Unfortunately the mobile app doesn’t seem to support audio.
The mobile version of Chrome Remote Desktop is a standalone app rather than a browser plugin. Chrome for Android still doesn’t support add-ons, and the mobile app doesn’t offer all the functionality of the desktop version: For example, installing the app won’t let you remote control your phone from a PC.
via Chrome Blog