Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Control Your Computer with Your Mobile Device

WiFi Mouse Pro has been an absolute game-changer for me. This app is regularly $2.99, but I was able to snag it while it was free. {If you're interested in finding out about apps when they "go free," download an app like this one that alerts you to a handful of free apps per day, or join TCEA, where you can get a daily digest of free and on sale apps and Kindle books.} Even so, I'd totally pay $3.00 for it now that I know its true value. (There is a free version of the app that has some limitations, if you're interested in that.)

WiFi Mouse Pro lets you control your computer via your mobile device, which means you can now control your computer from anywhere in the room. Not only does it provide a fully functioning mouse via your mobile device, the app gives you access to your keyboard so you have complete control over your computer. 

For instance, when my students participate in stations, I often use to help with time management. But when the alarm goes off, the sound can be a bit jarring if I'm not able to turn it off quickly. Now that I have the WiFi Mouse Pro app, I can walk the room freely during station work, knowing that as soon as the timer goes off, all I have to do is take my phone out of my pocket and use the mouse on my screen to click "stop." I can then re-start the timer from the other side of the room and continue to monitor student progress at the stations. It essentially stops any interruptions from the presentation so that students have more time to learn.

How It Works

1. Download the app to your mobile device.

2. Go to this website to download the free software component to the computer you need to control. Be sure to run the software once it's on your computer. (It should be called Mouse Server, and it will appear as the small, yellow and black icon on the bottom row, right corner of the picture below.)

3. Open the Wifi Mouse Pro app to see this screen:

4. You can try to auto connect, or you can put the IP address into the white box {covered by a black box in the picture above for privacy reasons :)} and press "connect." {To find the IP address of your computer, just click on the Mouse Server icon on your computer -- as shown two pictures above -- and a pop-up should appear that contains your computer's IP address -- shown below.}

5. After you're connected, you'll see a screen like this on your phone, which means you're ready to control your computer with your phone:

This is your virtual mouse. If you look closely at the bottom of the screen, you'll see buttons that look like a computer mouse. They work the same way as the real thing: left or right click to get what you want. :) 

The "_," boxes, and "X" in the top, right corner essentially work like they do on your computer -- minimizing, resizing, or closing out of the current screen.

You'll also notice a row of icons below the virtual mouse; these allow you to control your computer with your device in more ways than just by clicking. Click the triangle on the bottom left of the app to bring up the keyboard. You also do this by clicking on the 2nd icon from the left, as highlighted in the picture below:

Below are some screenshots of what the other icons do...but I don't know a whole lot about them since I mainly only use the mouse and keyboard features. :)

The gear icon in the top, left of the app's home screen allows you to change the mouse and scroll sensitivity, enable a left-handed mouse, and toggling options such as auto-connecting on start-up, keeping the device awake as long as the app is open, dimming your device screen when you're not using it, etc. 

If you'd like to try the app before buying, check out the free version. It does have some limitations, but you can still get a feel for what the app does. 

Would you use WiFi Mouse? Why or why not?

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