Google Chrome users can now access their Mac remotely via Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
Adding to a growing pile of remote-access software solutions, Google on Monday released an iOS version of Chrome Remote Desktop, which lets users access or take control of their PC, Mac or Chromebook computer remotely with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.




With Chrome Remote Desktop, which first launched on Android months ago, Google harnesses Chrome's built-in assets to create a secure ad-hoc connection for remote support, or long-term access for secure app and file access.

The app works in combination with a Chrome browser extension, downloadable from the Chrome Web Store. Connecting is straightforward, as users simply set up remote access in Chrome for Mac, then enter a generated code to link up their iOS device. Once setup is complete, the iOS app can be used to connect to any online computer in a user's ecosystem.

A major benefit to using Chrome's browser and accompanying iOS app is multi-platform support, Google notes. Chrome Remote Desktop supports remote assistance on PCs running Windows and Linux, while secure file access is reserved for Windows XP and above and OS X 10.6 and above. In addition to the iOS app, Chromebook owners can remotely access at-home computers in the same manner.

Chrome Remote Desktop is a free 9MB download from the iOS App Store. A separate Chrome for Mac extension is required for operation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    I've been using this for over a year to connect to a headless windows machine at my office. It has worked very well.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    More NSA sorcery!
  • Reply 3 of 35

    "Google on Monday released an iOS version of Chrome Remote Desktop, which lets Google, ah er I mean users access or take control of their PC, Mac or Chromebook computer"

  • Reply 4 of 35
    Fantastic, as pretty much the majority of Google's services.
  • Reply 5 of 35

    i have no doubt that this service will not be abused by google, or anyone else.

  • Reply 6 of 35
    Question: Can you use the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your iOS device to control an iPad?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Uh, yeah........no.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Uh, yeah........no.



    But why not? When The Google has all of your data they can deliver you better search results! It's for your own good, you know, letting them have it.

  • Reply 9 of 35
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Great!! But no thank you. The last thing I want is Google software enabling remote connection to my Mac.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post



    Great!! But no thank you. The last thing I want is Google software enabling remote connection to my Mac.



    Why not?

     

    They're just trying to make their customers happy (i.e., the businesses who buy AdWords).

     

    Don't you want the best, most relevant ads sent to all of your devices?

  • Reply 11 of 35

    Google-bashing aside, Chrome Remote Desktop's feature set and implementation kicks ass. Among other things, I can fix problems on my mother-in-law's computer remotely from my phone. It is an extremely nice set of functionality, and it works very well.

  • Reply 12 of 35
    Kind of says something about Apple that Google made such an app first. I don't know what it says; but, it's a great idea and Apple should have had it years ago…
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post



    Kind of says something about Apple that Google made such an app first. I don't know what it says; but, it's a great idea and Apple should have had it years ago…



    Apple made it many years ago. There are multiple ways to share a Mac remotely:

     

    - Screen Sharing. Essentially it's VNC built into OS X and it's free. To make your Mac available for remote use, System Preferences -> Sharing -> Screen Sharing. To access a Mac with Screen Sharing turned on, Finder -> Go -> Connect To Server ... -> vnc://[email protected] (for example [email protected]), or just look for it if you're connecting to a Mac on the same local network.

     

    To access a Mac with Screen Sharing from an iPhone or iPad, just use one of the many VNC clients available through the iOS App Store.  It is too bad that Apple hasn't made their own official iOS client; it seems like it would be trivial for them to do.

     

    - If you don't trust Apple, install a third-party VNC server and client. There are multiple free and paid options.

     

    - Apple Remote Desktop. This used to be part of OS X Server, but is now a separate (and kind of pricey at $80) product available through the Mac App Store. Basically VNC with some additional remote admin functions.

     

    - SSH and/or X11. Not exactly screen sharing, but they are options for doing things remotely on your Mac. SSH is included with OS X. X11 (XQuartz) is a free add-on. Tunneling VNC over SSH is sometimes the only sysadmin-supported way to access a Mac desktop remotely through a locked-down firewall. Again, there are SSH clients / X11 servers for iOS (but no official Apple ones), some of which have been around pretty much since the App Store existed.

     

    The basic problem seems to be that Apple never advertises any of these options, so most folks don't know they exist. Kind of like the mini-TOSLINK optical audio port built into the headphone jack of every Mac.

  • Reply 14 of 35
    I think I'lll stick with LogMeIn.
  • Reply 15 of 35

    I'll stick with RDM+ if I really need remote access to my Mac. 

  • Reply 16 of 35
    Nothing is free. There is always a cost.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    hpodhpod Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jaker's Ugly Brother View Post

     



    Apple made it many years ago. There are multiple ways to share a Mac remotely:

     

    - Screen Sharing. Essentially it's VNC built into OS X and it's free. To make your Mac available for remote use, System Preferences -> Sharing -> Screen Sharing. To access a Mac with Screen Sharing turned on, Finder -> Go -> Connect To Server ... -> vnc://[email protected] (for example [email protected]), or just look for it if you're connecting to a Mac on the same local network.

     

    To access a Mac with Screen Sharing from an iPhone or iPad, just use one of the many VNC clients available through the iOS App Store.  It is too bad that Apple hasn't made their own official iOS client; it seems like it would be trivial for them to do.

     

    - If you don't trust Apple, install a third-party VNC server and client. There are multiple free and paid options.

     

    - Apple Remote Desktop. This used to be part of OS X Server, but is now a separate (and kind of pricey at $80) product available through the Mac App Store. Basically VNC with some additional remote admin functions.

     

    - SSH and/or X11. Not exactly screen sharing, but they are options for doing things remotely on your Mac. SSH is included with OS X. X11 (XQuartz) is a free add-on. Tunneling VNC over SSH is sometimes the only sysadmin-supported way to access a Mac desktop remotely through a locked-down firewall. Again, there are SSH clients / X11 servers for iOS (but no official Apple ones), some of which have been around pretty much since the App Store existed.

     

    The basic problem seems to be that Apple never advertises any of these options, so most folks don't know they exist. Kind of like the mini-TOSLINK optical audio port built into the headphone jack of every Mac.


     

    I sympathize, as I use one of these options listed, but for the average user:

     

    Every last one of these options requires port forwarding through a router (IF your ISP even allows it, and something most users have no idea even exists), in addition, you need to know the destination IP address (IF it doesn't change), not to mention it would allow anyone in the world to attempt connections on said ports unless you know the source IP's would never change and added them to some sort of firewall. Also of note, and I'm sure you realize, most people do not have static IP's, and while DNS could be leveraged in a more dynamic way by a select few, MOST wouldn't know where to begin, or even how to begin such a process.

     

    Google's option requires NONE of those things, is secure since it's tied to your Google account (complete with two factor auth if enabled), encrypted, and dynamically open to just those with access to your Google account, so others couldn't portscan your network to find it.

     

    Believe it or not, MOST average users do not know what any of the following is, and if they do, they have a basic understanding at best: IP addresses, firewalls, port forwarding, routers/modems, ports, ssh, dns, remote desktop

     

    TL;DR: Every option you listed requires skill to implement and use, while Google's requires almost none.

  • Reply 18 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,424member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

     

    Google-bashing aside, Chrome Remote Desktop's feature set and implementation kicks ass. Among other things, I can fix problems on my mother-in-law's computer remotely from my phone. It is an extremely nice set of functionality, and it works very well.


     

     

    Gee, I have been doing this for almost 20 yrs using first Timbuktu, then I used apples only remote desktop for the last 10 yrs, as well as using Logmein, and TeamViewer and there are more. I also use Desktop Connect on my Ipad to log in and help family members on my Ipad.

     

    This is nothing news and You have to ask yourself why google wants into this business. Grant it Timbuktu and Apples own remote desktop software do not requiring accessing a third part to connect to remote machine outside you networks. But the other companys are not trying to use your usage information to market product information to you and others

  • Reply 19 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    hpod wrote: »
    I sympathize, as I use one of these options listed, but for the average user:

    Every last one of these options requires port forwarding through a router (IF your ISP even allows it, and something most users have no idea even exists), in addition, you need to know the destination IP address (IF it doesn't change), not to mention it would allow anyone in the world to attempt connections on said ports unless you know the source IP's would never change and added them to some sort of firewall. Also of note, and I'm sure you realize, most people do not have static IP's, and while DNS could be leveraged in a more dynamic way by a select few, MOST wouldn't know where to begin, or even how to begin such a process.

    Google's option requires NONE of those things, is secure since it's tied to your Google account (complete with two factor auth if enabled), encrypted, and dynamically open to just those with access to your Google account, so others couldn't portscan your network to find it.

    Believe it or not, MOST average users do not know what any of the following is, and if they do, they have a basic understanding at best: IP addresses, firewalls, port forwarding, routers/modems, ports, ssh, dns, remote desktop

    TL;DR: Every option you listed requires skill to implement and use, while Google's requires almost none.

    It would be nice if Apple offered a similar idiot proof method. Hopefully this might nudge Apple to do so. On a parallel topic the resolving DNS names issues with Yosemite haven't helped the more complex methods Apple do offer. I read the latest beta fixes those but I have yet to install and test. My Macs keep getting (2) added after their name, I use WiFi and Ethernet on various machines which makes matters worse I suspect. I use ADR daily but it is a pain at the moment, ever since mDNSResponder was been replaced by discoveryd I now learn. Have you hit this issue? Ars have an article about how to reinstall 10.9's mDNSResponder but I hope Apple have now fixed discoveryd.

    EDIT: 10.10.2 seems to have fixed discoveryd... :smokey:
  • Reply 20 of 35
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,424member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hpod View Post

     

     

    I sympathize, as I use one of these options listed, but for the average user:

     

    Every last one of these options requires port forwarding through a router (IF your ISP even allows it, and something most users have no idea even exists), in addition, you need to know the destination IP address (IF it doesn't change), not to mention it would allow anyone in the world to attempt connections on said ports unless you know the source IP's would never change and added them to some sort of firewall. Also of note, and I'm sure you realize, most people do not have static IP's, and while DNS could be leveraged in a more dynamic way by a select few, MOST wouldn't know where to begin, or even how to begin such a process.

     

    Google's option requires NONE of those things, is secure since it's tied to your Google account (complete with two factor auth if enabled), encrypted, and dynamically open to just those with access to your Google account, so others couldn't portscan your network to find it.

     

    Believe it or not, MOST average users do not know what any of the following is, and if they do, they have a basic understanding at best: IP addresses, firewalls, port forwarding, routers/modems, ports, ssh, dns, remote desktop

     

    TL;DR: Every option you listed requires skill to implement and use, while Google's requires almost none.


    I actually agree since I have used all these product successfully outside my home network and support family members on their Mac for over 20 yrs. the most complicated part is the port forwarding, and most time it pretty simple fix. Also there are simple app to tell the user their public ip which I install on any computer I was helping people with. 

     

    With that all said, and as I said above, google had no place in the communication path between you and another computer you maybe helping someone on, they have other purposes for providing this none of which any of us know of.

     

    Oh BTW ichat on the mac allows screen sharing and control and it does not required any complicated set up. and apple is not trying to watch what you are doing.

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