M3me (http://www.m3me.com ) has released Remote Conductor 1.0 for iPad, a productivity app for wirelessly controlling a Mac. It turns the Apple table into a sort of hybrid of Apple’s Magic Trackpad, Mac OS X Lion-ish app launcher and window navigator.
Remote Conductor is fun to use and functional. I’m not sure if I’ll continue using it in the long run once the novelty has worn off, but for now it’s getting constant use.
Remote Controller delivers three main features focused on streamlining everyday computing tasks: application and window switcher, remote program launcher and wireless trackpad. All work well, and Remote Conductor communicates securely over Wi-Fi with a free server program that runs on the Mac.
To use Remote Conductor, you’ll need a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) with “Universal Access” enabled (in other words, you’ll need to find and open Universal Access in the Systems Preferences app and click “enable access for assistive devices”). Also, the Mac and the iPad must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. That could be a problem, as some public WiFi hot spots aren’t supported at this time.
Open the Conductor Server software and start Remote Conductor on the iPad. Tap on your Mac’s name in the server browser and follow the on-screen instructions.
If you are having problems connecting Remote Conductor between your Mac and iPad, you can reset all the security credentials and then try to reconnect. You’ll have to enter the password that appears on your iPad’s screen.
The trackpad feature of Remote Controller supports most modern multi-touch features such as left and right clicking, scrolling and dragging. It also has gestures for bringing up Expose, Spaces or the Dashboard. However, you can’t “pinch” or “flick” your thumb and finger to zoom in or zoom out on, for example, a Safari web page as you can with the Magic Trackpad.
The Launcher allows programs on the Mac to be started just like apps on the iPad — and like they will apparently launch in next summer’s Mac OS X Lion. It also displays icons pinned to the Mac’s dock as a scrollable row at the bottom of your screen.
The Application/Window Switcher displays all the Mac’s open windows as thumbnails in a scrollable grid. Any individual window can be focused and raised to the front by tapping on a thumbnail. This feature is unique to Remote Conductor, according to M3me co-founderJohn Marshall.
Remote Conductor does everything the gang at M3me says it will. And I noticed no lag at all when using it to control my Mac over Wi-Fi. If you have a Mac with a large screen (such as a 27-inch iMac), the app may not offer enough functionality to make it worth your while. However, if you have a Mac with a smaller screen, the Launcher and App/Windows Switcher features can come in handy.
Or if you simply want to have your Mac and iPad working hand in hand, the M3me will seamlessly “marry” your Apple computer and tablet.
Remote Conductor is compatible with iPad with iOS 3.2 or later and Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It costs $9.99 and available at the Apple App Store.
Rating: 7 out of 10
— Dennis Sellers