Google has released a new extension for the Chrome web browser that lets you remote control any other computer running Chrome. There are plenty of other remote desktop applications, but the Chrome Remote Desktop beta has a few things going for it.
First, it’s free. Second, it works with PC, Mac, or Linux — and also chromebooks running Google’s Chrome operating system. In other words, you can remote control your Windows PC from a chromebook, or login go a Mac from a Windows box.
I tested the app out this morning, and it installs quickly, connects to a remote computer even more quickly, and offers a pretty good remote desktop experience. While the remote desktop service is handled by the Chrome web browser, you don’t just see the remote user’s browser. You an see and control their entire desktop.
Colors and graphics look pretty good, and while controlling a computer over my home network there was very little lag — although there are clearly a few dropped frames here and there. Still, the connection was fast enough that I could watch a video in my remote desktop window and it only looked a little choppy.
Unfortunately Chrome Remote Desktop doesn’t stream audio between computers, so you’re not going to be able to use the app to stream Netflix videos to your Linux PC by remotely connecting to a Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS computer.
Once that’s done, you can:
- Start the app by clicking the “Launch App” button from the Web Store or go to the Chrome new tab page and click the Chrome Remote Desktop icon.
- On the computer you want to share, click the “share this computer” button to generate a unique 12 digit session code.
- On the computer you want to use to connect, select the “access a shared computer” option and enter that session code.
That’s it. When you login, you should see a box on the remote computer letting you know that you’re sharing your session. To end, just click the Disconnect button.