In Countdown to iPad – iPortal (Use Case 45), we explored how an iPad could be used as a portal into and onto other computer platforms. LogMeIn Ignition remote access software gives iPad that ability. I found LogMeIn’s tag line “One touch access to all of your information,” to be almost spot on. After proper setup I was/am able to remotely access my computers with just two touches.
Setup was amazingly simple and I don’t make that comment lightly. I have years of experience working with remote software of one form or another. I can honestly say that the LogMeIn Ignition setup was one of the simplest I have encountered. Setup and operation require you to have LogMeIn Ignition loaded on your iPad and LogMeIn Pro² or LogMeIn Free installed on your target computer. LogMeIn Pro² and LogMeIn Free are both available for Macs and PCs. I chose LogMeIn Free on Mac OS X for my testing. My total setup and installation time was about 15 minutes.
Ease of Use
My first order of business was to send a tweet from my laptop using LogMeIn Ignition on my iPad. Though not an incredibly useful function on it’s own, it demonstrated the relative ease of using the remote solution. All in all, using the software is quite intuitive. I took to operating my Mac via my iPad quite quickly. I attribute any awkwardness, to the fact I was using a touch device to control an operating system and applications that were designed to be used with a mouse and physical keyboard.
3G Connection – As expected, LogMeIn Ignition performed well on my home wifi network, but I wanted to see how it would do on 3G. As I don’t yet have a 3G iPad, I tested the software over 3G using a wifi only iPad and a Verizon MiFi 2200 device. To improve screen redraw times while on 3G I did go into LogMeIn’s preferences and set it’s color quality setting to low quality.
iPhone and Edge – Though my intent was to review LogMeIn Ignition for iPad, I couldn’t resist loading the app on my iPhone and giving it a whirl. Screen size aside, the performance mirrored that of my iPad experience with both wifi and 3G. I was most curious about using LogMeIn Ignition on AT&T’s edge network. While certainly slower than 3G, the LogMeIn software worked flawlessly. Just as in my 3G testing I adjusted the color quality setting to improve redraw speed. I found the best setting for Edge to be grayscale.
Remote System Administration – One of the toughest tests for remote access software is system level administration of the target computer. My testing included the remote installation of software and remote rebooting/starting of the computer. Both tasks were amazing simple to accomplish using LogMeIn. As long as you remember to set the target computer to auto login prior to restarting it, you will be able to log back into the remote machine once the restart has completed.
Bumps in the Road
After testing the software for over 2 weeks I can honestly say that LogMeIn Ignition for iPad runs solid and smooth. I did experience a pretty big bump in the road when I made changes to screen resolution while logged into my laptop. I learned the hard way that the resolution setting was for the target computer and not for the iPad app. The change messed up every window of every application on my Mac and it took quite a bit of work to put everything back the way I wanted it.
The only other minor bump came at the beginning of my journey when I was trying to get modifier keys like command and control to work. When I installed the LogMeIn software on my Mac, it’s default keyboard mapping was set to PC. Not only was this a bit odd, but the solution was also less than intuitive. The resolution requires the Mac user to open LogMeIn on the Mac, navigate to Options, open Preferences and ultimately select Alt=Command, Windows=Alt from the keyboard mapping menu… not at all Mac like.
I am sure many iPad users will cringe at the $30 USD price tag. For the system administrator who remotely manages computers, it’s certainly well worth it. For me, it means I don’t need to purchase monitors for my Mac Mini servers. For the business traveler who left their presentation at home, it may save a customer.
Once you figure out how you would use LogMeIn Ignition for iPad, you might find it well worth the price.
LogMeIn Ignition for iPad is available in the App Store now, and is prices at $29.99.
LogMeIn provided a promo code to Just Another iPad Blog for the review of LogMeIn Ignition. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.