Google Chrome can be used to remote control your computers. Wow, I mean, really? From a web browser? So I set out to figure out whether this can be done or not. For my testing I’m using:
An OSX Mountain Lion desktop machine – this will be the host
A Windows 8 Laptop machine – this will be where I am doing the remote control from
I’m interested in how easy it is to set up, whether you can then control other applications remotely, other than just Google Chrome, and what the overall speed is like.
So to begin, we must follow these simple steps:
1. Install the Chrome extension on the host. (My desktop)
2. Install the Chrome extension on the controlling machine. (My laptop)
3. Configure the host machine (using ‘Enable Connections’), and setup a PIN. On OSX there is also a small additional component which has to be installed, it’s all in the step by step setup though, so it’s not hard.
4. Launch the remote control app from the Chrome screen, and connect to the host (using the previously setup PIN)
And that’s it. Pretty simple and straight forward, about the only odd thing is the size of the Chrome extension itself. Just over 22 Mb makes it a big extension compared with lots of the others that are available on the Chrome store, even the other extensions which are in fact apps.
Quite a large extension.
* Note at first on the OSX side of things I hit this problem: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/chrome/0y1VmSwmU38/MYL4_IF2KCMJ Essentially the remote control host failed to install. Which means you can’t enable the OSX machine as the host. The solution is also described above. You have to do a custom install, and choose the first component, then run it again and choose the third, and again and choose the fourth, and finally run again and choose the second. So that’s 1,3,4,2.
Once you’re connected to the app, you can choose which way to go with regards to the remote control.
On my machine I went for the ‘My Computers’ route which enables the remote connections.
Once you’ve got a host setup, you can then access it from the other machine. Here I am accessing my Mac from my Windows machine:
And here I am accessing my Windows machine from my Mac: