Controlling your computer from your mobile device is nothing new, but over the last year or so, a few notable apps have popped up for iOS and Mac that make it a truly awesome experience. Let's take a look at a few of the best apps that give you control of your Mac in the palm of your hand.
If you're an Android user, check out this guide for integrating your Android device with your computer. For this one, we'll stick with iOS.
Control All Kinds of Actions with Alfred
Alfred is one our favorite app launchers on Mac, because you can do just about anything with it. You can launch apps with a keystroke, search for files, search online resources, quickly send emails, and even control basic system behavior. With the addition of workflows, you can extend the powers of Alfred to do just about anything.
The Alfred Remote app connects your iPhone to your computer so you can control everything you can do in Alfred from your phone. With both the Mac app and the iOS app installed, you can launch apps, files, search online, run system commands, control iTunes, or run custom workflows.
Assign Custom Hotkeys with Actions
Actions is technically iPad only, but it's worth including here because it's so powerful. Actions basically turns your iPad into a touch console where you can launch tons of keyboard shortcuts right from your iPad.
With Actions, you set up shortcuts on your iPad that trigger actions on your computer. This is probably most useful with something like Photoshop, where you might not remember the hundreds of different shortcuts for various actions. Beyond that, you can also create custom macros though the Flows option. This Flows can be pretty much any series of actions, but popular ones include copying text, creating a calendar event, then pasting that text, or automatically loading up a series of web pages with just a click.
Control Your Music Using TodayRemote
TodayRemote is the simplest controller on this list, but it's also one of the most useful. Essentially, it turns your iPhone into a media remote. What sets it apart from Apple's offering is that works with more than just iTunes. TodayRemote also supports Spotify, Rdio, Vox, and VLC. It's a simple little thing, but if you listen to music on your computer and want to control it from another room, TodayRemote is incredibly useful.
Control Your Cursor, Apps, and More with BTT Remote
BTT Remote integrates your iPhone with the Mac app, Better Touch Tool. With both apps installed, you can do a ton of different things with BTT Remote.
The main feature is the ability to trigger shortcuts from your phone, but BTT Remote has a bunch of other features packed into it. You can use your phone as a trackpad, access all your Mac app's menubars, use your phone keyboard to type on your Mac, browse files, and more. It's certainly not the prettiest looking app on this list, but it's so packed with features that it's hard to ignore.
Unified Remote Controls All Kinds of Media
We've walked you through using Unified Remote on Android, and the same basic features are in the iOS version. You can control all your music, create custom widgets for different applications, and more.
What's nice about Unified Remote is how easy it is to organize your various remotes. You can set up separate sections for all the various apps you use it for, and even remotely view your Mac's screen. Heck, you can even use it to control your Raspberry Pi XBMC if you want.