Apple helps out with built-in screen sharing so one Mac can control and manage the screen of another on a local network or across the internet. What if you want to control a PC? What if you’re using iPhone or iPad and want to control your Mac’s screen?
Fly With Remote Control
As noted, a number of applications do exactly that– give you a way to connect to and control remote Macs or PCs from almost anywhere. The app I’ve used the most in recent years is Remotix.
Remotix lets you setup a quick list of remote Macs or PCs (from your Mac) so connecting is a one-click exercise. Remotix works on networks via Bonjour so it’s a good way to manage local Macs and PCs.
Controls on the Mac version are more extensive than iOS and give you options to manage the Desktop size and even connect using an SSH tunnel.
Keys can be remapped and the local screen cursor hidden. Remotix even supports Microsoft’s RDP for Windows PCs.
Since most of my work is on a Mac (but sometimes it’s necessary to connect to a Windows PC) that’s the starting point for me, but Remotix for iOS works very well; especially on the iPad where it’s easy to pinch zoom out and in (think multi-touch, but remotely).
Mac users will love the simple drag and drop options between Macs. It’s also easier to use and much less expensive than Apple’s own Remote Desktop App (which works well for remotely managing many different Macs from a single location).
Remotix also shares the Mac’s clipboard between your Mac and the remote computer, including photos and rich text documents. The built-in combined mode also lets you view a remote computer that has multiple displays. Connected sessions are secured with built-in encryption and the screen can be locked for secure usage.
I can’t say enough good things about Remotix on my Mac, but I find I’m using it more often on my iPad these days. Typing is slower, of course, but the extra screen real estate makes remote access more accessible. I’ve tried Remotix on my iPhone, but even the iPhone 6 Plus’ larger screen is still too small. There’s a try-before-you-buy option for the Mac version.