As the iPad gets more powerful I’m using it increasingly on the road in lieu of a laptop. Nevertheless, occasionally I need to get to something on my Mac at home. Over the years, I have come to rely upon Edovia’s Screens VNC application. Earlier this year they released version 4 and the application just keeps getting better and better.
If you’re not familiar with VNC, it’s a technology that allows you to remotely log into a separate computer and drive it remotely. If you’re sitting at Starbucks with your iPad and want to do something on your Mac at the office, this is perfect. However, not all VNC applications are created equal. Some of them are actually quite terrible.
Screens combines reliability with a pleasant user interface that make it hard to replace. One of the nice features in the latest version is the ability to hide the screen on your Mac while you are remotely accessing it in what they call “Curtain Mode”.
The application can work from your iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac. I use it, by far, the most from my iPad. If you set up your iPad with a keyboard and log into your Mac via Screens, you can almost fool yourself into thinking that your iPad just magically turned into a Mac.
I don’t use the application for extended sessions. For example, I’m not going to write a Microsoft Word document on my Mac from my iPad using VNC technologies. However, I might just log into Word on Mac to make a style change on a document I’m editing on my iPad since Microsoft Word for iPad doesn’t have that ability. When I need to log into the Mac to update something or get some information, Screens is always there for me. If you travel with an iPad and have a Mac back at the office or home, this is a tool you should probably have.