Remote Control of a Mac from the iPhone or iPod touch
One of the earliest apps that Apple released was a remote control for iTunes. There are now several remote apps which add to the usefulness of these devices and assist in increasing productivity. I have infrared remote devices for both my MacBookPro and iMac, but to work these need line-of sight access (although it is possible to bounce the signal off the wall). The remote apps that work on the iPhone and iPod touch connect using WiFi.
When this free app is active, the user can control the selection of music being played: playlists, forward, reverse and volume. It is possible also to create new playlists and to add tunes to these. With "iTunes DJ" a user can create a random selection of tunes to be played, although care has to be exercised if you have eclectic tastes: perhaps not good to mix punk and Puccini.
Like Remote, this requires wifi access, with both devices on the same network. At the university I work at there may be several accessible at the same time so the right one must be selected for computer and iPhone (or touch).
There are times, however, when one might want to make a presentation and either there is no network or access is difficult. On the Mac it is possible to create what is called an ad hoc network: the Mac itself is the router. This feature is sometimes used to distribute an Internet connection, but may also be used to connect the iPhone or touch directly.
There are two displays on the iPhone: portrait and landscape. In portrait, only one slide is shown at a time and the next slide, or part of the slide (for example a sequence of headings) is accessed by sliding the finger across the screen. An advantage of this display is that presentation notes are also shown.
In Landscape mode, the notes are not shown, but two slides are displayed -- current and next -- much like Keynote when monitors are not "mirrored". With this a presenter can begin to discuss the information before it is displayed, adding to a sense of professionalism.
Keymote also needs a desktop application to be installed. This is free and instructions are given with the app and on the iTunes page. When downloaded the desktop application runs in the background and has a menu-bar icon with basic controls.
With GarageBand, I used System Preferences to add a command to an existing menu item as I had shown earlier (19 August), then added this command to the keyset on the iPhone. I had to do this separately for the iPod touch.
I will look at some apps that allow other access to the Mac within the next few weeks.
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