Version Reviewed: 1.1.88
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
How many times have you forgotten to send an attachment to someone, start a download queue or sign out of your computer whenever you've left the house or office? If you've answered "at least once" to one of those, great. If you haven't, think of something - anything - that you've forgotten to do that you can only do from your mac or PC. It's a real nuisance. And it almost always ends up sticking to the top of your mind. It's here that you'll remember why you bought LogMeIn Ignition for your iPhone or iPod Touch.
The idea of Ignition is simple - connect remotely to your mac or PC and control it just like you would if you were in front of it. And the best thing about Ignition is - it works just the way it should do. Seamlessly. Simply.
LogMeIn was formed in 2003 and is now a global giant for remote computing. LMI claim that "over 70 million devices [are] connected worldwide" - an impressive number by any means. Consumer or business, it's available for everyone to use at every time of the day. All that you need to do to ensure access to a computer is make sure that you have the (free) software installed on it, and the computer is running. Once it is attached to your LMI account (also free - there is a premium version too) you're ready to go.
Upon downloading LogMeIn Ignition, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was amazed at the technological advancement of our times (being able to remotely control a computer from a phone sounds like something that only James Bond could ever pull off), but on the other I was concerned that the iPhone might just not be powerful enough - even though it is one of the most powerful mobile devices out there to the consumer market at an affordable price.
Once logged in to my account, my MacBook showed up and I was ready to connect. More security checks later (this time - the computer's credentials), and I was brought to a "Hints" screen - telling me exactly how to control the computer from the iPhone. This was a nice touch - and will certainly put to rest most questions. Once passed the hints screen, there was my MacBook - updating in live time - ready for me to control. "Hang on," you might be thinking, "how do you remotely control a computer if your thumb is bigger than the mouse?" It is here where you see how the LMI developers thought outside the box. The mouse is static in the centre of the screen. By moving your thumb, your screen moves but your mouse stays still - meaning that you can always see where your mouse is pointing. At first this seemed a bit confusing, but the more its used the more I realize that this is a superior alternative to the standard "move finger to move mouse" method (which - by the way - there is an option to turn on). To click you tap, to double click you double tap. Simple. To zoom in and out - you pinch just like you do in every other application.
You also have a keyboard at your fingertips, so that you can type and execute commands remotely. Everything from F keys to arrow keys - the integration is well-thought and impressively built. Among other features, you can change which monitor you are viewing if you have more than one; you can blank the screen; lock the computer's keyboard; and even change the colour quality for faster loading. Some advanced features, including the ability to change the screen resolution, add to the application's appeal.
However, the application is not flawless. Ignition has tried to implement a new keyboard interface which, in its own right is fine, but switching between two types of keyboard interfaces adds confusion. For instance, whenever switching to ".?123" mode - Apple's keyboard allows you to tap one digit and then you are reverted back to ABC. Ignition keeps you on the 123 mode. On top of this, the shift key has gone all caps lock - you have to manually turn it off. Whilst these features may sound smarter than Apple's integration, a standardized keyboard on the iPhone is something most will prefer.
The main drawback of this application is its price. At $29.99 (£18.99), it weighs in at one of the most expensive applications to buy for your device. Can it be justified? That's down to each and every user of it. To those who have used the desktop service and have become LogMeIn users, it may well be an app that you can afford not to buy. To those who haven't - I'd recommend that you check out the desktop service (www.logmein.com) before the purchase and get a feel for LogMeIn as a whole.
What Ignition has set out to do was fill the gap between accessing computers. You can do it between any desktop computer - and now from your mobile device. They've done it, and have made it with one idea in mind: simplicity. Their motto "Simply Connected" holds true to this application. Which is exactly what it should do.