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Who says you can't run Flash on the iPad? Splashtop Desktop Remote makes it possible. This software is part of a crop of apps that makes it possible for you to remotely control your Mac using your iPad, over a local area network.
Splashtop comprises two components: an iOS app you download from the App Store and a free streaming application for your Mac available from Splashtop's site (note that the Mac app requires OS 10.6, Snow Leopard). It's falling-off-a-log simple to set up: run the installer, open the app, give it a password. Launch the iOS app, and it automatically recognizes any Splashtop-equipped computers (Macs or Windows PCs) running on your network.
Watching a movie via iTunes -- which saves storage space on the iPad for more apps.
Splashtop lowers your Mac's resolution to something the iPad can handle, and provides tap and gesture equivalents for commonly used mouse commands. Does your Mac have multiple displays? Splashtop's developers thought of that, too -- there's a gesture to let you scroll to different displays. I had some trouble mastering the gestures, but could manage easily enough after a while. You can also use familiar gestures like pinch to zoom if you're having trouble seeing what's on the host screen.
A virtual keyboard complete with command, control and function keys lets you type as if you're working from the Mac as well. The keyboard takes up a huge chunk of screen real estate, of course, which makes it tricky to use, but it disappears with a click onto a tab you can pull up at any time if you need it. I wouldn't want to spend any significant length of time writing a Microsoft Word document remotely using Splashtop, but it's effective for typing in URLs or even invoking key shortcuts.
You can zoom in on your Mac's Desktop for a closer look
Performance on my mixed 802.11g/n network was terrific -- I could open documents remotely, run Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, and even play movies and TV shows from iTunes. Audio streaming was smooth, but video got a bit choppy until I found the control for adjusting performance (you can switch between smoother or faster video performance). You can even run games, though you're bound to run into control issues for software -- especially Flash games -- that depend on rapid keyboard or mouse response. The games that work the best are ones with simple controls. Splashtop's ability to stream Flash comes in particularly handy to remotely watch Flash-based video sites or to access Flash-heavy Web content.
The bottom line. More than just for fun, Splashtop Desktop Remote is a phenomenally useful app that lets you easily remote control computers from the iPad -- handy for accessing content not on your iPad or even doing some tech support without needing to be in front of the machine. Simple setup and great performance make it a breeze to use.
iPad running iOS 3.2 or later, Mac OS 10.6 or later
Easy to set up. Great performance. Lets you use Flash and other stuff that doesn't work on iOS.
Mouse-replacement gestures take some getting used to. Keyboard takes up too much of the screen.