2010 Mac Mini HTPC - Best app to control with iPad?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by StickNutzman, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. StickNutzman macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2009
    Sorry if this has been discussed already, but I did a search and couldn't find anything other than the lengthy thread on remote desktop style apps. I'm buying one of the new 2010 Mac Minis to use as an HTPC. I've got a Harmony remote that does much of what I want it to do in controlling Front Row and EyeTV, but I've got an iPad and would like to put it to use controlling Safari, Hulu Desktop, Plex, etc. There are 3 apps that seem like they would work well to act as my couch-surfing trackpad/keyboard, and I wanted to see what everyone else uses. My wife is also thinking of picking up an iPod Touch, so we may end up using that to control the HTPC more than the iPad in the future. The 3 apps I'm looking at all have versions that work for both platforms.

    So... which is better: Mobile Mouse/Air Mouse, Rowmote Pro, or TouchPad?

    I'm leaning toward Mobile Mouse because of the visual dock in the app and the customizable keyboard, but I'd like to hear more info on the others. Thanks in advance!
  2. Cinab1mt macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    I'd recommend rowmote personally. I use my MBP on my LCD tv and it works great. You can open and close apps/programs, use a keyboard and it has a trackpad. I don't know if others would agree but i love my rowmote, it's very accurate and responsive.

    Edit: rowmote is also universal so you would only have to buy it once, and I am referring to the rowmote PRO app
  3. gilesybaby macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2007
    I'm actually surprised this question isn't asked more - they seem like a perfect combo to me.

    A couple of similar question have been asked in the ipad forum, see

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=856654 for examples.

    I think you're going to need both Rowmote and a VNC, depending on circumstance and the level of control you want.
  4. DetroitBORG macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2010
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Oh this is easy, Air Mouse (iPhone/iPod) or Mobile Mouse (iPad).

    I use one of my iPads as a remote for my Mac mini HTPC. One of the amazing things about the iPad app is that the Mac's dock is also visible on the screen of the iPad, allowing you to launch and close the apps easily.


    (Note: I didn't know it at the time of this demo, but you can close an app by holding down on the app and selecting "Close".)
  5. StickNutzman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2009
    I took a look at your video, and that definitely seems like the app I'm looking for. One question though... Have The functions that didn't work in the video (like going fullscreen in iTunes) been fixed in an update? That seems like a pretty glaring omission. ;)
  6. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
  7. johnredcorn macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    I have tried touchpad, rowmote, and mobile mouse.

    My preference is actually split between touchpad and rowmote. Touchpad has the best interface and will work with osx using screen sharing, so no additional software needs to be running on the mac for it to work. Rowmote, on the other hand, requires the rowmote software to be running on the mac, but the trade off is you can control system volume, and you can customize a list of programs to start off of a single button. I didn't care for mobile mouse at all. The interface is ugly, and the volume controls did not work in plex.

    I setup a custom keymap for plex to take advantage of the available keys in touchpad, and use it as my primary means of controlling my mac mini. I keep rowmote on the ipad as a backup for certain things.
  8. WytRaven macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    Orbiting Mercury
    I will add a vote for TouchPad. Although I don't have a Mac Mini, I do use TouchPad with my Mac Pro and it just works seamlessly. There is no difference between using TouchPad and using a real Keyboard or Touch Pad.

    Funnily enough it was how good Touch Pad is that got my into this forum to see this thread... I saw the new Mac Mini had been released and instantly thought I can use TouchPad to control that as a HTPC!! :)
  9. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    There's Logitech's TouchMouse app that's free and easy-to-use. It emulates both a keyboard and mouse.
  10. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    I'm looking for one of these apps for my Mini HTPC for use with my iPhone. Couple Q's.

    Which ones can launch apps?

    Which can I customize for plex?
  11. Stelph macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Try hipporemote, I'm nor sure if it's ipad supported but it's great on the iPhone/iPod touch. It can be Programmed with custom profiles for different programmes, plus it works as a mouse, keyboard, game controller ect and also supports launching and closing apps.... Take a look


    Also if you are using the mac mini to record tv then definatly check out the eyetv app since you can schedule recordings and stream live or recorded tv directly to your ipad/iPhone (over 3g if required)

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