Tablet computing is changing the way we work play and interact with people. True or false there is no doubt the rise of the mobile computing device is certainly influencing how we use technology. The iPad, known for its versatility by combining mobility with computational power and accessibility is undoubtedly the poster child for this new tablet revolution. However, as with any new technology there are also naysayers who question the role of the tablet. Certainly from the offset there are some disadvantages – namely they often seem underpowered in comparison to their older brothers such as desktop and laptops.
However, as with tablet computing there is another change that is driving technological advancement – cloud computing. Whilst one might argue that tablet based operating systems such as iOS fail when it comes to software compatibility, cloud computing might have the answer. Cloud computing represents the ability to access virtual resources independently of location all through the internet. Virtual resources is a pretty far reaching term – it could mean anything from the data associated with email and social media connections right down to literally computational resources like RAM and even hard drive space (!).
So tablet computing and cloud computing software compliments each other beautifully. So you can forget about your old desktop and work computers forever right? Well not really. There will always be a situation in which you will want to log in to a computer to access files or run programmes that are desktop based or OS locked. Similarly for cloud based servers (virtual servers) you’ll still want to access the server in order to configure it how you would like. For example if you are running a website on your cloud server then you’ll want to install a web server, a scripting language and also control read/write permissions on certain files.
VNC (virtual network computer) offer users the opportunity to simply log straight into a computer through any device that supports VNC viewer “clients”. For instance, using VNC enables a user to connect from one computer which uses Windows, to another that uses Linux. The advantage of using VNC on an iPad is that though the user is on an iOS, they are able to operate a desktop or laptop that runs on a different system through the iPad device.
This is great news – whether you are a regular user in need of remotely accessing your PC or if you are a webmaster looking to have a more flexible approach to server management. With that in mind here are some of the best VNC viewers for the iPad!
Screens is a VNC service that provides the option to connect from an iPad to any other computer that has a VNC running on it and any server with a static IP. It is customised for the iPad, with its support for different touch gestures, allowing the user to use his finger as a trackpad or mouse; this is one of the biggest advantages of using this client. It also has keyboard options that vary depending on the type of remote server the user is accessing. With a UI that is simply and clean (complimenting Apple’s own style), Screens VNC has been praised for its speed and response when it comes to operating the system. “Screens” by Edovia is available at USD 19.99 .
VNC Viewer is not only stable but has a powerful UI integrating iPad’s own touch functionality fairly seamlessly. Computers with a high screen output are handled well with the iPad’s retina display with VNC Viewer enabling the user to scroll around the display. Similarly the touch functions are intuitive and two-finger gestures can be used to zoom in or out. For more difficult types of navigation, the app has a mouse mode, which can be switched on for a trackpad and virtual scrolling wheel. This VNC view also allows the user two types of navigation: one with the mouse fixed and the screen to be scrolled, or the screen to remain fixed and the viewer being able to scroll through the page. VNC viewer is available for USD 9.99 on iTunes.
Mocha VNC Lite is one of the free VNC apps currently available for the iPad. Mocha works much like Screens and VNC Viewer, but has certain disadvantages: It does not come with detailed instructions on how to set it up, and the interface is not elegant nor intuitive. However, as a free app, it is a good resource for a user who wants to get started with VNC and wants to find out how it works before actually investing in it. Mocha VNC Lite can be downloaded from iTunes.