Monday, July 18, 2011

Interesting Apps Episode 3 - Splashtop vs Teamviewer

I'm probably late to the party once again but if you remember my Teamviewer blog, then you know how useful I think remote desktop apps can be. Since the writing of that blog, Teamviewer has been a staple app on my iPad as well as on my android phone. It's worked so well for me that I never bothered examining the competition, after all, you get what you pay for, and being free i've been content with the few adjustments working with Teamviewer from a iPad or phone. To be honest, I'll probably still continue to use Teamviewer for the foreseeable future but i couldn't help but be impressed with a new app I discovered that does the same thing. Allow me to introduce you to Splashtop.

Now I'm not gonna rehash the benefits of using a remote desktop, so instead i'm going right into the differences and similarities of these two apps.

The similarities...

Both are very easy to set up. Download the app. Download the server program for your PC. Connect. Done!

Both have decent security measures and can support connectivity from other sources as well.

Both apps stream at a excellent display resolution, but more on this later.

Both provide mouse and keyboard control.

Both apps are free, (kinda)

The differences...

Back to display resolution. The resolution Teamviewer uses depends on the connection speed. This can be overridden but then the refresh rate is affected even more. The resolution on Splashtop is constant and the refresh rate is a whole lot smoother. So much so that you could stream video from your PC or Mac straight to your iPad. This leads me to the next big difference...

Sound! Splashtop also streams sound from your PC/Mac to your iPad. This is not a feature of Teamviewer. This opens up a whole new set of possibilities.

Although both apps have mouse and keyboard control, they are done differently. Teamviewer essentially turns your screen into a large trackpad. You move the mouse using the whole screen in this manner. Splashtop uses more touchscreen support. You just tap what you want to select to select it. Multitouch gestures control scrolling, zoom, etc. It's a little confusing when your used to Teamviewer but its a great feature. the only problem is when some precision is required in clicking. My big fingers have a problem sometimes closing windows/minimizing windows, or selecting text.

I mentioned that both apps are free, and to a certain extent they are. Teamviewer is free to use unrestricted, but wants you to "play fair" and pay $99 dollars if you plan to use the app for business. Splashtop has a free version of the app that is limited to 5 minute connections while the $10 regular app has a unlimited connection time.

The wrap-up

Splashtop probably deserves a dedicated review to cover all it's features, as well as tests on how well it streams with various connection speeds but this blog has dragged on long enough. I'm sure someone else has already reviewed it anyway, (I'm too lazy to search...) Both are excellent apps. I'm still a Teamviewer fan because I also have the option of using my Android phone to connect in addition to my iPad (in contrast to popular belief, i don't carry my iPad everywhere I go...)

I know there are other remote desktop apps out there and if they have free versions, i'll probably try them out too. (Hey money is too tight right now to be paying for what I can do for free.) I do however think that $10 could be worth a remote desktop app with multitouch support, high res display, and sound, but only for those that could really benefit from the added features.

Give it a try, and see ya' next blog...



  2. Between Splashtop and TeamViewer, I'd vote for TeamViewer for sure... But I actually use RHUB now for remote access and support. It's got everything I need in one device. I'd recommend checking out RHUB.