A year ago, I wrote a review of LogMeIn Ignition, an app that allows you to control the screen of another computer. A year later, this remains one of my favorite apps on my iPhone and now my iPad, and TODAY ONLY it is on sale. Normally this app is $29.99, but if you buy it today, December 9, it is only $19.99. Sales on this app are very rare — I don't remember seeing a sale since 2009 — so I encourage you to grab this app today while you can save yourself $10.
The app has received some updates since I reviewed it last year, the most important being support for multitasking under iOS 4. It is very useful when you are controlling another computer to be able to jump to another app on your iPhone and then jump back into LogMeIn Ignition without having to establish a new connection to the remote computer. But the core features of the app remain the same, so rather than repeat myself, take a look at what I wrote last year.
The main reason that I am mentioning the app today is the sale, but I also want to take the time to note how much I love this app on my iPad. The app is useful on the iPhone because if you are out of the office, you can quickly access your real computer to do any task that you wouldn't be able to do on the iPhone alone. Of course, with a screen the size of a playing card, the experience is not the same as being in front of your computer, but the fact that you can do it at all is amazingly useful. On the big screen of an iPad, on the other hand, LogMeIn Ignition is truly a reason that you can leave your laptop in the office and just travel with the iPad. The iPad can already do many of the things that you would want to do with a "real" computer, but for those tasks that require a computer, such as using software for which there is no iPhone/iPad app or even just using a website that has Flash, LogMeIn Ignition lets you do everything on the iPad itself. Because the screen is so large, it is only a minor inconvenience to use the iPad instead of a "real" computer. And if you add a Bluetooth keyboard such as the fantastic Apple model that I reviewed a few months ago, then you really have everything that you need when you are traveling.
My review last year included screen shots showing you that you can either view the entire computer screen at once (with everything very tiny) or you can zoom in so that it is readable but you only see a part of the screen at once. On the iPad, it is still sometimes nice to zoom a little bit, but you can easily read the entire screen at one time as you can see in this picture (click to enlarge):
If you don't have a Bluetooth keyboard with you, you can bring up a modified version of the iPad keyboard, plus you even get access to function keys and other special buttons on a PC or Mac:
With a Bluetooth keyboard attached, you can make that keyboard panel disappear, so you can type while still devoting your entire screen to seeing this display that is on the remote computer.
Considering how useful as the iPad version of this app is, it would have been reasonable for LogMeIn to charge you extra for it. To the contrary, this is a universal app, so once you buy it for your iPhone, it automatically works on your iPad in a very nice iPad-optimized mode.
I know that there are a few other apps out there that give you the ability to control a remote computer on an iPhone or an iPad, and I haven't tried many of the others, but I can say that I have been a very satisfied LogMeIn user for well over a year. It is one of those apps that significantly increased the value of my iPhone, and it has now done the same thing to my iPad. If you think that you might ever be in a situation where it would be useful to be able to use and control your Mac or PC while you are away from home or the office — and virtually every attorney I know falls into this category — I strongly encourage you to get LogMeIn Ignition. And if you are reading this post on December 9, 2010, you can save yourself $10 by getting the app today.