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Hands-on: Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android makes remote access easy

Brad Chacos | April 17, 2014
Smartphones and computers let you get things done anywhere and everywhere, but portability becomes more bane than blessing when you forget a critical file at home, especially if you're the type of person who dumps files on your desktop rather than a Dropbox folder.

I haven't had a chance to test the app with a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard. One commenter says the app doesn't play nice with Bluetooth mice, so be wary if one is a key part of your workflow.

While the new app makes grabbing a last-second file a breeze in those "Oh no" situations, that's far from the only usage for it. The app can be used to provide far-away technical assistance to family members who install the browser extension, for example, or to easily access a Flash-based website using your desktop browser. (Android and Flash don't play nice anymore.) You can also run full-fledged desktop programs while using the Remote Desktop app, naturally.

One clever early commenter on the Remote Desktop app's Play Store listing was pumped to find that "I can control my desktop from my tablet/phone while I have it Chromecasting to my TV. So good."

In the end, the new Chrome Remote Desktop app is a welcome addition to the Android family, delivering a truly user-friendly experience that's oh-so-rare in the world of remote desktop software. It's fast, it's easy, it's free, and you don't even need to install any additional software on your PC if you're already using Chrome. What's not to like?


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