Version Reviewed: 1.2.39970
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VNC—"Virtual Network Computing"—sounds like some sort of geeky gobbledygook. The premise behind the VNC Viewer, however, is quite simple. The VNC Viewer app gives you full view, and control, of any computer running VNC. Thus, you can control your computer using your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad from anywhere you have internet access: across the house, at work, on the train...
This review focuses on using VNC Viewer with an iPod Touch (second generation), but the VNC Viewer app is universal, so iPad owners needn't worry about another version.
If you've never used VNC before, you have to install a simple, small program (VNC Server) on the Windows computer you want to access. A VNC server that works with this app is built into Mac OSX. RealVNC offers 30-day trials of the software; however, you'll have to pay to use it past then. A one-person license for the personal edition costs $30. After VNC Server is running on your computer, open the VNC Viewer app on your iOS device, log in, and voila!—you have access to your computer.
VNC treats the iPod screen like a trackpad, so there's no need for pixel-perfect accuracy; to move the mouse, you simply swipe around. A button in the app opens the keyboard, which includes extra keys like function keys, CTRL, ALT, DEL, the Apple command key, and more. There's also a "mouse" pop-up which lets you right-click, middle-click, shift-click, etc. Portrait and landscape views are supported within the viewer app, as are pinch-to-zoom gestures.
Using VNC Viewer, you can launch programs, type word documents, send emails—all the things you would normally be able to do. It'll take some getting used to, and the app's view of your screen sometimes takes a second to update, but VNC is a very powerful application.
Whether or not it's worth springing for the full suite (a computer VNC server license, plus the VNC Viewer app) depends on your individual situation. However, VNC Viewer is an excellent app and it works beautifully. If you already use VNC, there's no reason not to grab this fantastic app.
Head over to realvnc.com to learn more about VNC.