The Android operating system is full of surprises. The amount of extra functionality that it has access to is astounding. That is why the functionality that allows you to control your computer directly from your phone doesn’t actually come as any real surprise – however, it is awesome nonetheless. You will need to install an app called Gmote in order to do this. The installation is pretty straight forward. If you can install a regular Android app then you will have no problems installing Gmote. It doesn’t give you full access over your computer, however it does allow you to use your Android device as you would a mouse or keyboard. It also allows you to control the playback of media such as movies and music. Pretty nifty really and handy if you have a media center computer but don’t want to worry about hooking up a wireless mouse and keyboard.
To begin with, you are going to need an Android device such as an Android phone or tablet pc. You will then need to install the Gmote server on the computer you wish to control using you Android device and the Gmote client on the Android device. You will also need to know the IP address of the server so that you can remotely connect to the computer via the Android device. Once you have all of this set up you will also need to make sure you have a VLC installed so that you can play any media you need to play – this isn’t really necessary however because you can just control the computer with the Android device as if the Android device is a mouse or keyboard and play the media directly through your selected media player.
Gmote has support for PC, Mac and Linux so it is nice to have a suite of software tools that can be utilised by virtually any platform. It is not the best option for those who want a dedicated media controller for a media center computer. However it is a nice cheap option for the interim if you already have an Android device and some technical knowhow in regards to networking. The latter is not really required because there is a ton of documentation out there on how to set it up. You might also consider saving up for a media center controller after getting it all working once you see the power of controlling a computer with a smaller device. There are pros and cons to using such a device as a remote control method although, the pros certainly outweigh the cons in this instance.
Gmote is just another reason why the Android platform is so powerful. As long as the device operates on an Android platform – you can utilise the Gmote software. Because a large swathe of developers and manufacturers are making devices using Android it shouldn’t be too hard to find a compatible device for the software. However, don’t go out looking for an Android device just to make a remote control for your computer!