These days we spend less and less time computing at our desks. The problem is, mice and keyboards are usually designed for use in a permanent location, and become awkward to use when you find yourself cradling them on the sofa or while sat on the train.
Things get worse when you decide to hook up your computer to your big-screen TV for whatever reason. There you are, scrabbling about on the floor when you’d rather be curled up on the sofa. You could buy one a dedicated remote for your computer, or you could press your trusty smartphone or tablet into service instead.
Mobile Mouse allows you to turn your iPhone, iPad or Android mobile into a fully functioning wireless mouse, touchpad and remote for your computer, enabling you to tuck the computer out of the way while you navigate using your mobile device’s touchscreen. All you need to do is ensure both are on the same wi-fi network.
First, you need to download and install the free Mobile Mouse Server software on your PC or Mac. Once done, install the app and off you go: you’ll see a nag screen selling the virtues of the Pro version, but click Later to start using Mobile Mouse Lite.
You’ll see your mobile screen is split into two, with a virtual keyboard at the bottom, and your touchpad at the top, complete with mouse buttons and scrolling functions – just shake your phone to hide the keyboard from view if you find it a little cramped, or hold your phone horizontally, at which point the screen changes to a basic touchpad.
You’ll also see a Settings button, which is where you manage connections to all the computers running the server software, allowing you to use your mobile across all the PCs and Macs you own.
As far as Mobile Mouse Lite goes, that’s it – it’s an extremely capable substitute for your mouse and keyboard. If you’d like to go one step further – and banish those annoying nag screens – upgrade to the Pro version for $2.99 for the following extras: accelerometer-based mouse controller, application switcher (works just like the dock in OS X), file browser, advanced, and programmable multi-touch gestures (including all supported in Lion).
The Pro version also includes media remote functions, with many popular apps already set up, and others easily configurable through the server software. You’ll even find remotes from web browsing and presentation, plus support for the numeric keypad, programmable hotkeys and the ability to both sleep and wake your computer direct from the app.
The Lite version works well as a basic mouse and keyboard substitute, but upgrading to the Pro version opens up a wealth of new possibilities – and removes the annoying nag screens.