FREE 'TeamViewer' provides FULL remote access to PCs and Macs—review

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Habakuk, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Habakuk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vienna Austria Europe
    #1
    TeamViewer

    App Store link (free for home users)​


    Screenshot of iDevice application:

    [​IMG]

    With this powerful application, which was published on March 3rd 2010 in App Store, together with it's also free counterpart software on a Mac or PC remote connections can be established, that is, the "big computer" can be completely controlled from the iPhone or iPod touch. The desktop and all programs are mapped on touchscreen display and can be operated from there. Yes we really can. :) The following is a short practice test.

    Quick Start Guide—pretty easy:

    1. Install and start TeamViewer from the App Store
    2. Install and start TeamViewer 5 on your PC or TeamViewer 4 on your Mac (www.teamviewer.com)
    3. Enter your PC's or Mac's ID and password directly in the TeamViewer interface on your iPhone or iPod touch to connect.

    All of this is done in less than two minutes. Then we have this screen on our iDevices:

    [​IMG]

    I tried that with a MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6.2) and an iPhone 3G (iPhone OS 3.1.3, never jailbroken):

    TeamViewer works fine, even with Exposé and Dashboard, Spaces, Spotlight and all that fancy stuff and even via the 3G cellular network. Connection establishes fast. Well-designed zoom and mouse functions. A complete keyboard input is also possible—lots of options here (function keys, esc, command, alt, tabulator, highlight…).

    Video (and other graphic animations) output is jerky and delayed on iDevice and sound output is not provided of course. On very rare occasions the colors are not displayed quite accurate on iDevice (just restart app when there are heavy distortions or try to lower color settings on Mac if it's important enough). It can be hard to catch the icons in the animated OS X Dock. One needs to tap for showing up a Dock set to auto-hide, use landscape orientation if you have the Dock at the bottom then it's easier to tap icons. But that's nitpicking. The controls work with a little delay, naturally.

    There is an option if you want to have your OS X background image displayed or not. Default setting = not, so it will "delete" (not really) temporarily your background image until the connection is switched off again. Lots of options can be found in the OS X TeamViewer app's settings (security, control restrictions, partner lists, speed/quality preferences…).

    [​IMG]

    There are additional services available like a direct chat, all connection details, logs, session recordings and more accessible via a little transparent overlay window visible on your Mac in the upper right corner below OS X main menu bar (or in the TeamViewer's menu "Extras"). It shows always that such a connection is established, it can be hidden and brought back again with Exposé. The other striking visible sign on Mac whether such a connection is established or not is (besides the TeamViewer Dock icon): Do you have a background image? (Depends on default setting, see break above.)

    [​IMG]

    As mentioned before: On the iDevice landscape orientation is supported as well as portrait. You'll need that frequently. When your iPhone goes to sleep (aka screen switches off, standby) it will kill connection after some seconds—a new connection is established with two taps (no need to enter numbers once more, they are saved, and there is an option in the settings of OS X app to switch that behaviour) or change your iPhone's battery savings settings.

    You can switch on/off your iPhone's status bar (preferences TeamViewer iPhone app) but will have to start the app again to make that setting's change effective.

    It says in the instructions (www hyperlinks below) related to Apple machines…

    …that not all functions are available (such as file transfer, scroll wheel) but I could launch & control via iPhone 'iPhone Explorer.app' (iPhone USB connected) and transfer some images to Mac as well as send an email from Mac to iPhone (addressed to myself) with files attached. Otherwise: Works right away, intuitively.

    According to it's manufacturer TeamViewer provides the highest security standards. This is very important with such apps. In this case it's a really calming feeling that we have such a stringent quality control at Apple Application Approval Department. It seems safe to use those remote applications. As far as I can tell the manufacturer is serious and reputable.

    Okay you won't accomplish your video editing and complicated 3D animation tasks with this (theoretically even that works if you have a bit patience and no need for a sound output) or play Need for Speed, but it's certainly usable for giving assistance from the distance or for getting some files forgotten at home or office (via email) p. e. It's some kind of spooky watching "ghosts" controlling your Mac and having your "live home desktop" with all mounted volumes available on iPhone underways. ;)

    Make your Mac OS (or others) go touchscreen—and your iDevice go hyper modern touchpad with built-in display and the full power of your Mac/PC (okay, sort of). Multi purpose.

    Download @ manufacturer's website a detailed user manual PDF TeamViewer 5 with some remarks on Mac version (1.1.7 page 3).—German-language.

    According to their homepage: "For home users TeamViewer is free. Business users need a license."

    Last but not least—here is the main desktop application "TeamViewer" for Mac OS X that shows up right after launching the program:

    [​IMG]

    The ID (nine digits) seems to be always the same, password changes on each launch of the software. (You can change that in "Preferences". When you input the ID number on your iDevice you don't need to type the space characters.)

    I am not affiliated with the German manufacturer, but it's a rather exciting app in my honest opinion, technically somehow fascinating.
     

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  2. Vandam500 macrumors 68000

    Vandam500

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    #2
    Wow thats awesome that it's free. The biggest competition (LogMeIn) costs 29.99.
     
  3. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #3
    Do you have to create a session on the Desktop software every time you want to log in? seems pointless to me unless I'm missing something:confused: like if you are outside your house and need to access the desktop how would you do it if you are not home to create a session?
     
  4. cw2k7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #4
    Session ID stays the same. So you can leave it running.

    Session password is randomly generated by default but you have the option of setting a permanent password in the apps preferences.
     
  5. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #5
    oh ok thanks for clearing that up. Can you wake the computer from sleep, and put it back to sleep?
     
  6. rwilliams macrumors 68040

    rwilliams

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #6
    I've been using TeamViewer for some time now to help out relatives and to connect to a work machine without the hassle of VPN, and it is a wonderful piece of software. The iPhone app works brilliantly and I'd highly recommend both the desktop and iPhone version to everyone with remote connection needs.
     
  7. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #7
    are you able to wake your computer from sleep using the iphone app?
     
  8. Habakuk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vienna Austria Europe
    #8
    Unless I've missed something: No.

    You can put it to sleep. Yes.
     
  9. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #9
    Thanks. I think I may give this a shot when I get home tonight sounds like a nice tool and best of all it's free.
     
  10. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #10
    this app is great, but it does have a few glitches, as does the mac version of the desktop app.

    I wrote a short review of this app also, check it out at my blog...
     
  11. lemonademaker macrumors 6502a

    lemonademaker

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    In a Van Down By The River! Metro Detroit!
    #11
    OP: in a nutshell what's the diff between the FREE - $99.99 version? is it just home use VS Corpo Licensed use?
     
  12. rwilliams macrumors 68040

    rwilliams

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #12
    Yeah. There's no difference in the apps themselves. Same applies to the desktop version - you can download it for free if you agree to use it for personal use, or they ask you to pay if you're using it for corporate use. It pretty much works on the honor system. I like the software enough that if I ever started using it to manage work computers remotely, I'd gladly pay the corporate price.
     
  13. Habakuk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vienna Austria Europe
    #13
    Maybe but…

    …I can't acknowledge your problems with CPU usage. Tried it extra once again: No unnormal CPU load @ MBP with WiFi or UDP/3G connect.

    I looked it up for you. Sorry but I don't have access to English-language manufacturer's homepage. According to German-language "Licensing" page…

    http://www.teamviewer.com/de/licensing/index.aspx

    …(there should be somewhere the same in English) and if I've understood correctly the only differences seem to be:

    • at the iPhotch app: no popup after closing connection (I almost didn't recognize it until now—you can also use home button ==> closes connection, no nagscreen)
    • and on PC/Mac: no installation of client module necessary
    • you can have your own logo and custom "hello" text
    • can be installed on more than one workstation (additional costs) and in commercial use
    • performance (multichannel routing)
    • install on server OS
    • additional software (TeamViewer Manager, MSI, Web Connector, Portable) available in Premium licence

    hth
     
  14. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #14

    hmmm, I tried this on three different Mac computers in my house, two different 2009 laptops and a 2009 Mac Mini. Tried all three with ethernet cable and Airport/wifi and all computers have their CPU's pegged near the top as soon as I click on "LAN connections only."

    I tried to alleviate this with many different settings including turning off the firewalls on the laptops and most combinations of setups for the Teamviewer app itself. Nothing fixed the racing CPU on any of my computers.

    There is nothing unusual about my home network configuration or the three Macs I tried this on. I use apps somewhat similar in functionality to TeamViewer like Jaadu VNC connect/touchpad and have no CPU issues.

    Now, the WiFi connections still works fine, just it make the CPU spike and stay up there.

    You seem to know quite a bit about this app., why would this be happening to me and not (presumably) anyone else? I like Teamviewer a lot, and want it to work properly for me

    (I am pretty good with good with the working of most hardware and software.)
     
  15. Habakuk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vienna Austria Europe
    #15
    Sorry. I didn't try that setting. I let all things on default settings in my short tests. What is "LAN connections only" good for?

    No. Not more than you and every1 else who tried the free version.
     
  16. globalist macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #16
    Much better than the overpriced crap Logmein is!

    Namely, pressing Enter while writing an email (in Outlook on the remote PC) will NOT send out the email, but rather create a new line of text as it should, LOL. :D
     
  17. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #17
    ...making a local connection from one's iPhone/iPod touch to their desktop/laptop over WiFi to control their "full-fledged" computer from their iPhone for any reason a user might want...

    (am I missing something here)

    anyway, great app, just fix the glitches with a small update...
     
  18. Habakuk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Vienna Austria Europe
    #18
    Thx but I don't see any difference here between "LAN only" (over WiFi) and "normal" WiFi connection… Maybe I should dig a bit deeper into this. Uh: Maybe it's local WiFi only and not "any WiFi"?!

    Anyway the manufacturer provides very good support, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. At this webpage (click) there are direct phone numbers of 20+ countries.

    And did you know? You can even make real phone calls with your Mac/PC remote control. :)
     
  19. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #19
    Have also used TeamViewer without a problem. When I travel I am able to troubleshoot various things at home. Compared to the paid services at GotomyPC and logmein, its a great free tool to have.
     
  20. globalist macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    #20
    Say what?
     
  21. fstlambo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    #21
    I personally like this app alot, especally if I have to be at college and my parents can't figure something out on their computer...easy setup too
     

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