Remote Mac Control, iPhone Style

Remotely accessing and controlling computers isnit something new, but doing it from an iPhone is. The gang over at Google has been hard at work trying to make that happen for the Mac with a slick collection of Web apps called telekinesis.

telekinesis includes what you need to stream music and videos from your Mac, browse files, take pictures with the built-in iSight camera, perform Spotlight searches, run AppleScripts, perform mouse clicks, and even enter text -- all from your iPhone. Hereis how it works:

  • Download iPhone Remote from the Google Code Web site. Itis my favorite price: Free.
  • Launch iPhone Remote, and create a login and password. Youill need these to connect to your Mac from your iPhone.
  • Find the IP address for your Mac. You can find it by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences, selecting Network, and then picking your network connection from the Show pop-up menu. N ow click the TCP/IP tab.

  • The Network Preference Pane shows your IP address.
  • Now hop over to your iPhone and launch Safari and enter https://<your Macis IP address>:5010. Since my MacBook Prois IP address is, I would enter
  • Enter the user name and password you created in iPhone Remote.

iPhone Remote shows you a set of icons that give you access to the various remote control functions it can perform with your Mac. Just tap one to make it active.

The iPhone Remote interface.

If you want to control your Mac when your iPhone isnit connected to your local network, youill have to set up your Internet router to pass traffic from the outside world to your computer, and youill need to know the external IP address your Internet connection is using. If you do, be sure to quit iPhone Remote when you arenit planning on using it so you donit have to worry about other people trying to control your Mac without your knowledge.

Despite the ultra-coolness telekinesis and iPhone Remote represent, this is still an alpha-level project. That means you should expect the unexpected, like things not working when you want, and occasional application crashes. As the project matures, those potential stability issues ought to fade away.

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