It doesn't matter how good a tablet or a smartphone might be, there's no doubt that it has more restrictions than a PC or a Notebook. This can often be resolved with a remote desktop, which streams the complete operation system over to the device! Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop does exactly this and belongs to one of the best contenders in this category. What's more it's free! Whether this app lives up to expectation will be exposed in today's app test review.
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2
- Android version: 4.1.2
- Root: yes
- Modifications: none
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.01
- Android version: 4.0.1
- Root: yes
- modifications: none
- suitable for OS as of 2.2
- Size after installation: about 17 MB
- Ice Cream Sandwich, more specifically Jelly Bean optimized: yes
- Network communication
- System tools
- Your accounts
Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop showed no abnormalities within its authorization.
Every tablet owner recognizes the fact that no matter how great their device is, it still has a lot of restrictions that you could live without. My Galaxy Tab 10.1 is my favorite university tool, thanks to the sleeve keyboard. Even Kingsoft Office works well on it, though it doesn't come close to comparing with the ''real'' Office. Or there are the times when I'm sitting in my bed at night watching my favorite series. Of course the TV cable is hanging over the computer and doesn't run with Android. Furthermore, despite having Google Drive, Dropbox and co. it always happens to me that I'll be on the go and need information from my Notebook, which I obviously don’t have with me either. All of these problems – and more – can be resolved with Splashtop 2 – Remote Desktop. But what does this app actually do?
First off you need to install the Splashtop Streamer on your PC (Windows, MacOS or Ubuntu) and register. Then you load the Splashtop 2 – Remote Desktop on your smartphone or tablet. Once the app is registered, the PC will already appear, provided you've started the streaming on your PC. Slashtop 2 works when both devices are using the same WLAN connection. An alternative would be to download the ''Anywhere Access Pack'' as an in-app purchase and to use the mobile communication from your PC. This works with a subscription that costs between 1.5 Euros per month or 12.78 Euros per year, a fair price. The free version works with the WLAN connection, as explained above.
I'm using a Windows Notebook from Acer that has already long been upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8. The desktop with Windows 8 looks almost identical to Windows 7. There are just a few graphic changes and the start button is missing. The start menu was set up with the interface, which you can easily operate using your mouse and keyboard. It works the best using touchscreen gestures. Just pull a few of the screen margins towards the inside to call up the menu. It's pretty impressive that smartphones and tablets have touchscreen, right? Exactly! But only when the remote desktop app recognizes these gestures! And that is where Splastop 2 - Remote Desktop comes into play. All Window 8 gestures will be supported and will always be correctly interpreted. You get the impression with your tablet that you actually have a complete Windows 4 tablet. The conversion is really impressive. Of course the problem still remains that Windows has small controls, which aren't exactly easy to tap on with a 10'' tablet. They pretty much disappear on a smartphone display. It works at least on tablet and in the worst case, you just have to switch it on and off again. I recommend using a stylus for a smartphone. That is why my Galaxy Note 2 comes in very handy here. You can use the Note 2's Spen to control the mouse without it actually touching the screen, as well as open certain menus (mouse-over) in the browser. With the new Microsoft Office, which has touchscreen optimized operation, you won't get the complete Office on your tablet or smartphone using Splashtop 2 – Remote Desktop. Even games or Window 8 apps work quite well on mobile devices, since the PC obviously overtakes the computation and is only streaming the picture.
And this brings us to an important point: how does the streaming actually work and how big is the delay? While using a Wlan connection, the delay is quite minimal and requires only a quick second. This is hardly noticeable when normally operating it. But with the apps, it's another story (especially while playing cool games), since you do notice the delay. However, it's not to such a terrible extent. The image is also very smoothly streamed, though you do notice that there are less images per second. Movies watching works well, but not 100% like a PC. The image is very sharp.
While using a mobile data connection, it looked a lot different. First of all, you need to take into consideration that Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop requires excellent internet connection. The image adapts to the connection speed and for those who don’t have a fast 3G connection, you can pretty much forget about using this app. The connection over the mobile connection isn't very stable. There are delays where it didn't react for a few seconds. But if you do have a stable internet connection, then you shouldn't have any problems. Entering text can be done using either Window's screen keyboard or a Android keyboard. The first one is seemed too small for a mobile device. I think it's great that Splash top 2 -Remote Desktop blends in the function-keys of the Windows keyboard, which can be quickly and easily used when needed. Scrolling and zooming works really well with multi-touch too. As an alternative you can blend in a trackpad.
Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop is fantastic! I use it pretty much everyday, especially when watching TV in bed or comfortably streaming Office onto my tablet. Window 8's gestures have been seamlessly transferred over and the blended-in functions are really useful.
Screen & Controls
Operating the app is child's play. Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop was also optically well-made! The rest of the operating is a variable and depends on the operating system of your PC, as well as on the size of your device's display.
Speed & Stability
While using a Wlan connection, Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop worked really fast and stably, other than one or two delays. Also, sometimes the connection might not establish itself. This is very rare and starting the app again resolves the problem in these instances. Streaming with the mobile connection worked well too, though it does depends on the quality of the connection.
Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop is a free app in the Google Play Store. If you would like to active streaming with a mobile connection, you need to activate this function in the app through a subscription, which costs either 1.51 Euros per month or 12.87 Euros per year. This is an optional (and cheap) function and the app is very good, free and ad-free. For all of these reasons, I give it full marks!