Screens 2 Takes VNC To A Whole New Level With iCloud, AirPlay Siri And More

Screens 2 Takes VNC To A Whole New Level With iCloud, AirPlay Siri And More

Screens is one of many VNC apps available for the iPad and iPhone. Screens 2.0, which was released today, takes the concept of remote controlling a Mac or PC to another level. The update offers some very nifty features to the two year old app including integration with iCloud Siri, and AirPlay.

Screens isn’t one of the cheapest VNC solutions for iOS – it has a price tag of $19.99. The software backs up its somewhat steep cost by delivering a great user experience.

VNC apps for iOS do double duty compared to their desktop counterparts. They serve as a way of working on a remote computer, which is useful for tasks such as troubleshooting or server maintenance. They also serve as a way to run desktop software on an iPad or iPhone – something that can be very useful if you need to use a specific piece of software for which there isn’t an iOS equivalent.

The developers at Edovia took both of those uses into consideration when designing Screens. As a result, the app has features like an always available toolbar, an extended keyboard that includes a row of special keys like the command and arrow keys, and a customizable “shortcuts keyboard” (shown above) that contains special key combinations. It also includes significant gesture support that can be customized to your working style.

The new update offers a handful of really great additions. There’s support for syncing configurations across your devices using iCloud, the ability to integrate with Siri’s dictation features, and AirPlay mirroring – which effectively gives you access to one of the features of Mountain Lion. Edovia also introduced a new service called Screens Connect that is designed to make it easy to connect to computers over the Internet.

The big advantage to Screens isn’t so much its collection of features even though they’re pretty impressive. It’s more the mindset that went into developing the original app and the update. It’s very clear that a lot of thought went into how and why people would use the product. The result is a polished and user-centric option that takes VNC from being a very basic set of capabilities and makes into the basis of a truly useful solution.

  • Dave Berry

    Sounds promising. Here is use I want it to solve. Sit in my living room not able to see my mini desktop and control my Rhapsody or Pandora page on the Mini. I know I can use those apps on my iphone but the mini is connected to my home stereo and speakers. The Remote app does this for iTunes but I want to remotely control other music programs on the computer and here the result on my home stereo.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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