The iPad is gaining momentum as a viable platform in the enterprise workplace. And it's also emerging as a platform for remote systems and PC management. Case in point: LogMeIn Ignition -- even at a whopping $29.99 (expensive for an iPad app) -- is now one of the top selling apps in the Apple App Store. Is the iPad destined to be a remote desktop management wonder?
No doubt, a growing list of remote desktop management, access tools and virtualization apps now run on the iPad. I reviewed how the Citrix app on the iPad does some incredibly solid desktop virtualization, and for the price tag (free!) it's great to have if you're in an enterprise or SMB environment looking to change the way you use your virtualized environment.
But that's desktop virtualization. Remote desktop is a tad different. There's no virtualized desktop -- it's a real one -- and it's simultaneously hosting the iPad and sending down information to the iPad client. As a result, the experience can be a tad different. And by different, the general consensus is "kind of slow."
I can't speak on behalf of LogMeIn Ignition; I haven't tried it, but based on reviews on the App store, it works pretty well with a few hiccups on large resolutions. The real issue is price. On top of the $29.99 for the app, you actually need a LogMeIn subscription.
UPDATE: May 14, 10:57 a.m. eastern: Check the comment area below for some pricing clarifications from LogMeIn.
Other OptionsI've used a free VNC client on my Mac and I found it to be adequate for moving a file or two over, or if I ran a server, checking on the server load, connections, maybe a quick website that needed (gasp!) Flash. It wasn't terribly responsive, but it wasn't unusable either. (It was also free...)
But I digress. Here's the point: The free VNC client works, and the screen size is perfect. So here's the implications: whether your remote desktop is running Mac OS X, Linux or Windows -- you can create an application that runs in 1024x768 on the host machine, and with enough buttons and pull-down menus, it's possible to essentially 'write' for the iPad without having to actually step food inside Apple's XCode. Maybe it's not 100% practical, but realistically, it's worth thinking about. A solid VNC client or remote desktop client can actually drive your iPad deeper into the enterprise for in a bunch of environments.
Think about it: monitoring software, inventory input, digital clipboards or checklists or simple data logging.
It's food for thought, and a jumping off point for other ideas. What's more, it's recently been revealed that the iPad can support up to 11 simultaneous touches at once. With the right screen size, shape and dimensions (and heck, price tag) it almost seems like it'll be a matter of time before the iPad finds its way into all the little niche areas where standard handheld mobile devices just don't cut it, or are cumbersome and inefficient with small screens.
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