One of the benefits of having a large computer screen is that you can enjoy Netflix, Hulu or even movies on Youtube from a distance sitting on your couch and enjoying the buttered pop-corns. But the problem is when something has to be changed (like the volume, aspect ratio, brightness etc.), you have to get up and manually change the settings which ruins the fun of watching the movie. If you do not have a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard and do not really want to shell out the money for them, then you can convert your Android smartphone into a wireless keyboard and mouse instantly using the free Remote Mouse app.
The Remote Mouse uses the existing WiFi network that your desktop computer and your smartphone are using, and sends the keystrokes and mouse movements from the smartphone to your desktop PC. It works for both Windows and Mac computers and you can use both iPhone and Android based smartphones for this.
The first step is to download and install the PC software for Remote Mouse which is available for both Windows and Mac OS. After the installation of this software in Windows, you will be able see its icon in the system tray. You can right-click on it to see the IP address assigned to your desktop PC on the WLAN. This IP address will be later used to identify your PC in the Remote Mouse app.
The second step obviously is installing the Remote Mouse app in your smartphone. In our case, we installed it in an Android phone running on Android Kitkat. On first launch it shows you the basics of operation – one tap for click, tap two times for double-click, two finger tap for right-click, two finger scroll for scrolling up-down or left-right, etc. As some of these actions require a multi-touch screen, so you must have a multi-touch device for them to work.
Next it will show you a list of computers that you can connect to (all those computers on which you have installed Remote Mouse software). You can choose any of them to connect to identifying them with their IP addresses. It also make it easy to connect to a PC by scanning the QR code of that PC (the QR code contains the WLAN IP address of that PC).
The rest is easy. You can use the keyboard to type into your desktop PC, use your finger in the green area to control the mouse, and make finger gestures for mouse specific actions. The best part is that, unlike a wireless keyboard or wireless mouse which use IR sensors, the smartphone Remote Mouse does not have to be in the line of sight of the your desktop PC. In fact, you can be in a different room, outside your house or in a different floor of the building for it to work – if you are getting the WiFi signal, then you can control your PC.
Remote Mouse app shows shortcuts to different applications that you have recently used and you can tap on their icons to quickly launch them. For example, in the following screenshot it shows some programs that I have used in past couple of days in my Windows 8 PC. I can tap on Firefox to launch it, type in a web site address and browse that site – all from a distance using the Remote Mouse app.
The app also allow you to download other plugins using which you can control a media player much more comfortably and use the Fn keys easily. It also has a shutdown section that allows you to shutdown, sleep, restart or log off your Windows PC remotely. This is great when you are in a sleepy mood after watching a Charles Bronson movie on Netflix and do not want to get out of the bed.
Conclusion: The Remote Mouse software turns your Android smartphone into a wireless keyboard and mouse combo so that you can control your Windows PC using your smartphone from anywhere within the range of the WiFi signal. It also has a version that works on iPhone and Mac OS.
You can download the Remote Mouse app from http://www.remotemouse.net/.