Have you ever wished that you could access your home desktop computer from your phone or tablet while on the go? Perhaps you had a file on your desktop that you wanted, or maybe you wanted to start a process of some sort like a file download or report-generation, etc. Whatever it may be, if accessing your desktop remotely on an iOS or Android device is what you need, this program is for you.
Jump Desktop requires a Gmail email address and will utilize Google’s servers to connect to your desktop via an RDP or VNC connection. The free version of the Jump Desktop app will let you connect to a single PC, while the paid app allows unlimited PC connections.
Connecting: is fairly easy. It was simple enough to do on my Windows 7 PC by following the wizard-style steps. (It will download and install TightVNC, which it needs).
The Gmail connection: I am unsure why this software requires the use of a Gmail account, but it does. Note that while the Jump Desktop client needs to be logged into this Gmail account, you can simultaneously be logged into a different Gmail account in your browser. My advice: create a brand new Gmail account just for Jump Desktop.
Control via gestures: the interface is very well done, and keyboard and mouse control is very well simulated on the device touchscreen via gestures. See the video below for a summary of these.
My test of Jump Desktop
: aside from the pleasing novelty of being able to see your desktop screen on your device, I decided to use it to perform a task that a software like this might typically be used for: to open my web email and send a file which is on the hard drive (at home) to myself. I went through the exercise in relative ease (see screenshot to the right).
Performance: will depend on (a) how fast your internet connection is, and (b) how powerful/fast your device is. The wallpaper screen on the desktop went black when I connected with my Android device, presumably to give performance a boost, which may or may not happen . You will experience a lag, and things will not be as responsive as they would be normally, and it can be somewhat annoying. Overall, however, I was quite pleased with the speed, from a purely subjective standpoint.
Desktop-to-Desktop VPN: is possible via the included ‘viewer’ desktop program
What you need to connect: the Jump Desktop client needs to be running on your desktop computer, and needs to be logged into the Gmail account that you used for Jump Desktop. Once you install it, the Jump Desktop desktop client will automatically start with Windows (which you may or may not want) and will consume a relatively small 15 megs of memory.
The verdict: an excellent software. The free version is restricted to connecting to a single desktop computer, which seems fair. The interface and performance both deserve high marks. If getting into your desktop remotely from your phone or tablet is what you need, Jump Desktop is a great solution.
The one thing I do not like is the need to use a gmail account, which I believe is not the case with other software that can do this (e.g. Teamviewer). In any case I suggest that you create a new Gmail account for Jump Desktop purposes if you are going to use it.
I tested this software on Android, and Jump Desktop bills itself as the ‘fastest RDP/VNC client for Android’. As a fan of TeamViewer on Windows, I would be very interested to see how it compares to that software once the TeamViewer Android app is out.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android
Go to the download page to get the desktop client. Ger the Android app here; iOS app here.