Smartphones

Review: LogMeIn Ignition for Android smartphones

LogMeIn Ignition is a robust option for remotely accessing and controlling multiple Mac or PC computers via your Android smartphone.

LogMeIn recently released an Android version of its Ignition mobile remote desktop app; the app allows you to access and control multiple Mac or PC computers from the palm of your hand.

Specifications

  • Product: LogMeIn Ignition for Android
  • Language: EN, ES, FR, DE, IT, NL, JP
  • Compatibility: Android 1.5 and greater
  • Security: AES 256-bit encryption (Learn more about LogMeIn security)
  • Price: $29.99

Who is the target market?

LogMeIn creates products for business users and consumers, and LogMeIn Ignition for Android straddles that line. You can use it to access multiple home PCs or access PCs across your enterprise. Because it offers a secure connection, you can do more advanced tasks like add users within server management consoles, restart Exchange servers, or check backup operations.

What problem does it solve?

While remote access isn't a new feature in the mobile applications market, LogMeIn Ignition brings a robust, easy-to-use remote access tool to the Android platform.

Standout features

Ease of set up

I wasn't sure what to expect when I shelled out $30 for LogMeIn Ignition for Android. LogMeIn's product tour touted the product as easy to use and set up, but I wasn't sure just how much configuring I would need to do on the computer or Android device side. It turns out that setting up your computer and your Android device is easy.

First, you need to create a user account at LogMeIn's website. This account is what you will use to log in via your Android device or another remote computer.

Next, you will need to download and install LogMeIn Free (or the premium LogMeIn Pro if you want more advanced features) on the computer you want to access remotely. You will log in to LogMeIn Free with the account you created on the website. In addition to supporting mobile devices, this desktop app will allow you to remotely access your computer from any other Internet-connected computer.

Finally, download and install the LogMeIn Ignition app ($29.99) from the Android Market. Then, just as you did with the desktop client, log in with your LogMeIn.com account.

One-touch access to remote computers

Once you have installed the LogMeIn Free (or Pro) software on each of your computers, accessing them from within LogMeIn Ignition is very simple.

LogMeIn Ignition requires you to log in before being able to access any of your computers; this means you can store all of your usernames and passwords for your remote computers within the app. Once you're authenticated via the app, simply click the name of a remote computer to be instantly logged in and taken to your remote desktop.

Multi-touch navigation

Once logged into your remote computer, LogMeIn Ignition gives you a couple of ways to use the touchscreen to navigate: Screen Moves or Mouse Moves.

With the Screen Moves setting enabled, the cursor is stationary, and you are able to drag the desktop around in order to place the item you would like to click under the cursor. This is the default when you install LogMeIn Ignition.

With the Mouse Moves setting, you get a more traditional desktop feel because you move the cursor around the screen with your finger. This just seems much more intuitive than having a static cursor.

In addition to these two modes, you have pinch-to-zoom multi-touch support, which allows you to quickly zoom in or out of your desktop to make a menu or other item easier to read or click.

What's wrong?

LogMeIn Ignition has performed very well in the few days that I've been using it. There are a two things that may impact your usage of LogMeIn Ignition, so I think they're worth noting; however, I do not consider either issue to be a flaw of the software.

Device screen size may affect ease of navigation

Depending on the size of your device's screen, you may find it more or less difficult to navigate your virtual desktop. Using LogMeIn Ignition on the 4.3" screen of my EVO 4G is comfortable, but I'm not sure if you will get the same experience if you're using a smaller device such as a Droid Eris or an HTC Hero.

Time-consuming installation

Also, depending on the number of computers you want to access remote, the process of installing LogMeIn Free (or Pro) could be time-consuming. I have 6 computers that I wanted to connect, so it took a while to get things set up.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

LogMeIn Ignition is a quick and easy-to-use option for accessing remote computers via your Android smartphone. As mobile devices become standard within the enterprise, having a reliable, secure, and easy-to-use remote control app will be a requirement. LogMeIn has been serving IT departments for years with products like LogMeIn Backup and LogMeIn Rescue, so it is nice to see the company extend its products to the Android platform.

Download LogMeIn Ignition by scanning the QR code above.

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6 comments
Graham@TheWhiteDragon.co.uk
Graham@TheWhiteDragon.co.uk

shame its not working on 2.2 Froyo, i love the logmein range and use it both at work and at home, i was beta testing it on my nexus until i upgraded to Froyo and now i cant use it :O( brilliant app, just want them to update the thing for 2.2 Driod :O(

mdeans
mdeans

I've been waiting for it to be available for android for almost a year now. It's been on the iPhone for a while now. I've used RemoteDroid and for what it does it does it well. A remote keyboard and mouse can be very useful if you have a computer setup as a media center attached to your tv. I haven't found it very useful for much beyond that. PhoneMyPc has been a pleasure to use from the very begining. Unfortunately it is still a work in progress. Each update makes it more useful than the last, but more updates are needed. Security is still a loose and it only recently started allowing you to unlock a computer remotely. It's not bad for home use but I would not install it in the workplace even if it does have the advantage of being licensed per phone rather than per computer controlled and the ability to set up macros for complex tasks it has the disadvantage of only being controllable through your phone. There is no web-based version at this time. LogMeIn allows you to both access your computers from your phone with solid security it also allows you to do the same from almost any browser on a PC. I found the static mouse option very useful as it negates the need to tap a specific tiny spot on the screen. What the mouse is pointing at is what is clicked. Once you get used to it it's as fast and easy as lining up the sites on a gun. This is very useful on smaller screened phones. If you tell it to it will remember your computer login info, which is based on your computer's domain, not some separately created list of users and passwords. Also, if the computer you are trying to access was locked with the same account info you have used to access it a handy little unlock option pops up relieving you of the need to type a complex password into your phone all over again. Personally, while it's somewhat of a pain to remote into a computer from my phone it's much less of a pain than being unable to support a coworker or having to cart around a laptop all the time.

GPerson
GPerson

Personally, I'm not going to shell out $30 for an app on my Android unless it absolutely blows my socks off. None has yet. I've paid for exactly 2 apps. And I uninstalled one of those. Besides, I've found VNC works for me to remote control my home computers (I don't remote control my work one.). I have sat in an internet cafe in Poland and connected to my home computer through VNC. For my Android phone, I use androidVNC, which is Free! I like free. It connects through my router to one PC, of course, but I can then VNC to the others from that one. Yeah, navigation is not so great on that tiny screen, but with androidVNC, I have several modes, including a toggle between panning and mouse control, or I can use touch for panning and the button for mouse. There are about 5 different methods.

mdeans
mdeans

I guess for once I'm thankful that they take their sweet old time with the over the air upgrades. I'm certain LogMeIn will have an upgrade out soon. They've always seemed pretty responsive in supporting what they have out there. Maybe not as quick with getting new things out there though. Of course that could just be them trying to get it right the first time through.

mdeans
mdeans

It has a convenient interface. Works well with systems on a domain. Doesn't add to your security overhead, as it uses the user-names and passwords already in place on your domain maintaining all the permissions and rights allowed by your domain controller. The software on the pc's updates itself pretty painlessly, i.e. it only asks to update when you log onto it remotely as it doesn't check until then. As the only IT person for my company with six locations to manage I've found it very useful. I guess it's mostly a matter of need once the quality of a product is this good.

Graham@TheWhiteDragon.co.uk
Graham@TheWhiteDragon.co.uk

for the backup and support that logmein offer all there products this is well worth the money, i beta tested it when i was on 2.1, but now im on Froyo im at a loss without it :( i use logmeins products at work for my broadband users, and its soo fast, parallel running logmein and gotoassit shows that its soo much faster, and made a clear reason to purchase logmein. not to mention the rescue website is soo much easier for users to enter.

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