9 Remote Control Apps for iPhone

The iPhone is a great device for controlling your Mac remotely. Whether you want to interact with iTunes or take complete control of the keyboard and trackpad, a range of solutions are readily available. These range from completely free to $24.99 (for a full-featured VNC tool).

This roundup will take a look at nine iPhone/iPod Touch apps for taking remote control of your Mac. Several come with free “trial” versions, allowing you to get a feel for the software before purchasing the full version.

Apple Remote

Apple Remote

Apple Remote

Available completely free from Apple, the Remote app allows you to control an impressive range of iTunes features. Navigate between songs and videos, view artwork on your device, and alter settings – all from the palm of your hand. It plays great with AirTunes too.

Price: Free
Developer: Apple
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

RemoteTap

RemoteTap

RemoteTap

A great VNC app (one which shows your desktop in real-time), which can also swap between spaces, multiple displays, and act as a control for Front Row. The list of features is very, very thorough and I’d recommend visiting their site to take a look at everything on offer.

Price: $6.99
Developer: ReadPixel
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

Air Mouse Pro

Air Mouse Pro

Air Mouse Pro

Definitely the best looking application featured, Air Mouse Pro is both a fully-functioning trackpad, “air mouse”, keyboard, and remote control for media playback. A really innovative use of the iPhone’s accelerometer to move your cursor around the screen.

Price: $5.99
Developer: Mobile Air Mouse
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

Rowmote

Rowmote

Rowmote

The simplest app featured, Rowmote imitates the Apple Remote bundled with some machines. Simplicity is the key, offering only a few controls and a basic interface. It will also allow you to switch between applications easily, and instructions are available to set it up with an Apple TV.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Evan Schoenberg
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

WiFiRemote

WiFiRemote

WiFiRemote

WiFiRemote is a 8-in-1 wireless remote control with a decent range of features. These include a multi-touch trackpad, text-pad, landscape keyboard support, an accelerometer mouse and various media players. If you can look past the dated interface, it works pretty well.

Price: $5
Developer: mbpowertools
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

KickStart

KickStart

KickStart

KickStart doesn’t offer a wide range of functionality but provides a decent interface for remotely launching and closing applications. It can manage any app present in your Dock, and also remotely shut down/sleep your Mac. It’s a shame that full remote control tools aren’t present.

Price: $1.99
Developer: BananaGlue
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

RemoteJr

RemoteJr

Remote Jr

Remote Jr will either work as a simple remote control when in portrait view, or display a full interactive version of your Mac desktop when tilted sideways. Functioning over Wi-Fi, 3G or EDGE, you can also customize the colors of the remote control display.

Price: $5
Developer: Remote Jr
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

Snatch

Snatch

Snatch

Snatch is a remote trackpad and mouse for your Mac, which works works surprisingly well. Multi-touch is supported, and the latest version also comes with an application launcher for quickly opening a particular piece of software.

Price: $5.99 (or a free test version)
Developer: Hoofien
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

Jaadu VNC

Jaadu VNC

Jaadu VNC

By an enormous margin, Jaadu VNC is the most expensive app in the roundup. A variety of features are supported, but mixed reviews mean that it may be better to first try out a slightly cheaper VNC offering such as RemoteTap.

Price: $24.99
Developer: Jaadu VNC
Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch

Conclusion

I’ve covered the apps which I feel to be most useful (and those which I’ve tried myself in the past). I know that a few others are available, so feel free to share your experience and let me know if I’ve missed any real gems.

Have fun, shamelessly show off to your friends, and enjoy the convenience of remotely controlling your Mac!


  • http://www.ademaweb.nl jeroen

    I would like to add remotetap. Extermely easy to use, even over 3g. full control, and intuitive like a native mac app. see more at http://www.readpixel.com/remotetap/index.html . I really like working with it.

  • http://xodoa.com/ ruflin

    It’s not really an iPhone Application, it’s a web interface. But I normally use RemoteBuddy with the web interface for the iPod Touch or the iPhone: http://www.iospirit.com/index.php?mode=view&obj_type=infogroup&obj_id=24&sid=9626972G8d688bc7a242c319&o_infogroup_objcode=infogroup-23&o1_infogroup_objcode=html-141

  • Alex

    I agree. Remote Buddy MUST be added to this list.

    Then you will have a top 10 list!!

    http://www.iospirit.com/index.php?mode=view&obj_type=infogroup&obj_id=24&sid=9627010G88ae95799b723857

    • http://sabondsounds.co.cc Sergey Sabond

      I like Remote Buddy because I don’t need the whole my Mac screen – just control from iPhone or IR Apple Remote Control. Especially I like that I can open files/apps on my Mac from iPhone/iPod touch.

  • http://twitter.com/AdrianHerritt Adrian

    I use the open source (free) RemotePad. http://www.tenjin.org/RemotePad/
    It works great. Functions just like a trackpad on a Macbook, but also has iPhone keyboard functionality.

    • Obormot

      Highly recommend for those, who want to control computer rather than just iTunes or other players.

      It just works. And it’s free. Maybe not a sleek design, but setup is smooth.
      Highly recommend as no other app works as good. And this one is free.

      Just a few things to improve:
      Design could be better.
      Requires WIFI, so I have to turn it on when I want to use the app.
      Doesn’t have a way to press control, alt and other buttons.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Apple’s Remote app is great, but the fact that you can’t also control the system volume with it is silly.

    I’ve had a copy of RemoteTap for a while now and agreed—it’s excellent.

  • Janina

    I use http://www.justisofa.com/ , a Mac desktop app that also provides webapp functionality. It’s also easily extendable, uses Applescript – i created a Spotify remote “plugin” for it in no time. ;)

    • saf

      how do i write a spotify plugin, could you post instructions or send the extension?

  • http://www.simpleleap.com/cram/mac.htm PatrickC

    I have not yet tried any of the remote control apps for the iPhone… but I will surely check some out now!

    Good post.

  • Joe Watkins

    I’ve had great success with Touchpad Elite. It’s only $.99 and gives you control over your mouse, keyboard, arrow keys, and other function keys including copy and paste buttons.

  • Shade

    I have Air Mouse Pro and it’s fantastic… though on occasion my cursor starts going crazy and sure enough when i walk into the other room my wife is sitting there with my i-phone messing with me intentionally! haha.

    I also use Mocha VNC which i did not see featured here. It’s a very good VNC app, i remember it was fairly expensive in comparison to other i-phone apps but i’ve forgotten the price and gotten enough great use out of it that i can say it was well worth whatever price i paid.

  • Kristin

    Remote Jr 2.0 was released the day after this article was published. The new version offers Spotlight integration with your Mac. This feature alone makes it the most useful remote application for me.

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  • Michael

    As of today, July 6, Air Mouse Pro is on sale in the iTunes store for $1.99. I was interested in it after reading the review here, and then I went to the store, and saw it was on sale. Sweet!

  • Nigel

    Try iInterface by NT Code Labs, this remote is for Windows and controls virtually every application, comes bundled with many remotes, but you can also create your own… There’s not much it cant do. Check it out here: http://www.ntcodelabs.com … You can read a review on it here: http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/3rd-party-applications/app-review-iinterface-for-iphone/

  • Jason

    Just noticed Remote Jr Lite on the iTunes store for $0.99
    It seems to deliver a lot for one dollar. And also offers an in-application upgrade to the full version.

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=319846272&mt=8
    http://www.remotejr.com/mac/Lite/

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  • Mike G

    I’m also liking Remote Jr a lot. Started out with lite version, quickly upgraded. Tried Air Mouse, maybe my iPhone has screwy controls, but never got that thing to work properly although waiving like a mad man ;-)

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  • eye

    Don’t forget Logmein Ignition. It is expensive but easy to set up to control your Mac or PC from your home and anywhere in the world. I use it for both fun and work. You can see your computer screen on the iphone and navigate precisely.

  • http://www.modesittsoftware.com kylekai

    WiFiControl, free for the iPhone & iPod Touch, connects to a preference pane on the Mac called WiFiServer ($10). With WiFiControl you can send messages, commands, retrieve files, run applications and more to and from the Mac. The latest release adds the ability to take screenshots and camera snapshots from the Mac and send them to your iPhone! All over a WiFi network. You can even try WiFiServer for a short time to see how it works.

  • overmind

    Try iMocon. It is simple and easy.

  • Dave

    I found a new remote app, which should be part of that list:
    “VooMote”.

    Just found it, and I use it all the time. I already completely forgot to use Rowmote.
    Voomote is so cool, as I can control Hulu and Boxee with swipes, instead of those virtual buttons, which i always missed.

  • Dave

    I found a new remote app, which should be part of that list:
    “VooMote”.

    Just found it, and I use it all the time. I already completely forgot to use Rowmote.
    Voomote is so cool, as I can control Hulu and Boxee with swipes, instead of those virtual buttons, which i always missed.

  • http://remoteless.no anders

    For Spotify on Windows, check out remoteless.no
    It got search, browsing, volume slider and everything you need.
    Nice video demo on front page; http://bit.ly/a-less

  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    good read thanks

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  • http://remoteless.no anders

    Remoteless is now available in AppStore!

  • http://www.dradept.com David Radisic

    just installed mobile air mouse, brilliant, love it.

  • Sean Hatch

    Add Hippo Remote. There are 3 versions (one free) that serve as a trackpad with a keyboard that can be removed from the screen.

  • http://www.gavpstudios.com/ Gerard

    Another vote for Remote Jr. Worked VERY easily. Just installed it on my iPhone and the server on my MacBook Pro, and done. Barely anything needed to change. Just connect.

  • http://www.gavpstudios.com/ Gerard

    Woops. Meant RemoteTap.

  • http://www.tropiezosenlared.com DidE

    I have problems with my remote app on my big iTunes library (about 30k songs, 200Gb).
    Remote dont open the library, connect but dont open.
    Anyone have the same problem?

  • http://ytrack.dewasmes.net Fabrice

    If you’re looking for an iPad version of the excellent Remote app from Apple, you should give yTrack a try. It’s available at http://itunes.apple.com/lu/app/ytrack/id380643376?mt=8

  • Andreas Blinkenberg

    All of you seem to be missing out the biggest og them all (IMHO):
    TeamViewer.
    It’s free, and available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone and java.

    Really easy setup for all platforms – remote desktop anywere.
    You can do file transfers, multiple desktop, it has audio support and it has a very nice interface. It even beats Jaadu – and it’s free (for non-commercial use).

    Now, I can wake my mac up from anywhere in the world (via another little app), and then access everything via Teamviewer. It works on both wifi, 3g and edge.

  • Mark Thomson

    I have to agree with Andreas, TeamViewer is brilliant. I have and use Apple’s ‘Remote’ app and think its great, but obviously its potential is limited to controlling iTunes. So why not go for something better and get an app that controls your entire computer. I initially bought it to remotely control AirFoil (check it out! a cool way to stream your non-itunes audio content to your AirPort express/Apple TV) when we’re outside in the backyard having a BBQ, but the possibilities are endless.

  • http://www.connetu.com/ server colocation hosting

    What’s the point? If you told me anyone of these could control my TV as well as my mac I’d be intrigued. In the meantime what’s wrong with the apple remote that came with my system? Are you telling me that iPhone users are so lazy they can’t walk across the room to turn up or down volume? More silly iPhone bloatware if you ask me!

    • Chris

      Finally someone is going to the point :)
      I have Apple’s Remote App to control my music and need an app to control my Tv/Xbox/Popcorn mediasystem.
      Is anything out there ?

  • Brewnah

    We have loads of storms where I live and I am looking for an app that I can use to shutdown my Mac from anywhere. How do I do this the cheapest way possible

  • Jonny Goldsmith

    “I don’t always use trackpad apps, but when I do, I prefer RC Trackpad, the only fully encrypted trackpad app.”

    “Stay secure, my friends.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucvG4esOagE TheTechnoTuber

    Splashtop is way better. Here’s the review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucvG4esOagE

  • http://www.ivoice.com.au Alex Grimes

    The iPhone has become indispensable in doing business due to the plethora of apps in its ecosystem. It has revolutionized how the phone is viewed and used, and set a stellar example of its rivals.

  • Doraemon
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