Let’s just turn the tables a bit. How about an iPhone remote control app that lets you control your iPhone using your computer? Especially if you bitten by the texting bug! Now you can type fast and do work on your laptop while having the iPhone open in a separate application on your computer. Interested? Let’s see how you can do it.
We are going to be using the iPhone as a VNC server. Apple, of course wouldn’t allow such a feat to be accomplished on their cherished device, so you won’t find any such application in the Apple App Store. However, you might be aware that another very popular platform exists where you can get free and paid apps that you won’t find on Apple’s App Store. I am talking about Cydia.
Before we proceed any further I must mention a disclaimer. Jailbreaking has recently been legalized in the United States but you might want to check your local laws if you are outside the United States. Also keep in mind that jailbreaking will void your Apple warranty.
We need a jailbroken device for Cydia and we need Cydia for Veency which is the app that lets you connect to your iPhone remotely via VNC and thus control it from your computer. Veency is of course not the only app that jailbroken device owners might be interested in. There are lots of them available via Cydia that let you tweak your iPhone in ways no other app on the App Store would let you do.
Jailbreaking is easier than ever before with the latest app called jailbreakme. The actual process is however beyond the scope of our discussion here.
- Open Cydia on your iPhone. Let it download the packages and do its thing. Now go to search and look for Veency.
- Click or tap on Veency. You will be able to see details of the Veency Package. Browse through them to know more about it.
- Once satisfied you can click the Install button towards the top right.
- Cydia will ask for confirmation before proceeding and show you a summary of what will be changed
- Confirm and Veency will be downloaded and installed on your iPhone.
From a configuration point of view you only need to ensure that WiFi is switched on your iDevice before you can access it remotely. You will also need to know the IP address that gets assigned to your device. You already know this if you assigned it manually.
Else you can find the IP address assigned to your device by visiting Settings > General. Then click on the blue arrow next to WiFi network name and you should find your settings listed there.
Your iDevice now has a VNC server installed. So you should be able to connect easily using a VNC client. We have covered a number of them before. TightVNC stands out if you are on Windows. Download and install it from here. A portable version is also available if you are so inclined. Once that is out of the way, fire it up.
Next up you need to enter the IP address we determined above. And confirm the VNC request:
Once you are connected you will be able to use your iPhone remotely via your computer.
This is especially handy when typing long messages or accessing your iPhone in another room. There are certain downsides as well. Since you are using this with the mouse you won’t be able to replicate all the ground breaking gestures that make the iPhone so special.
I didn’t get the opportunity to test the setup with a magic mouse or magic trackpad. It would be interesting to know how things behave with these devices in the equation. Maybe some of you can let us know?