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Google's remote desktop app for Android offers access to Windows and Linux machines

Arrives along with stock camera app
Thu Apr 17 2014, 11:39
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ANDROID USERS can now access their desktop computers with a Chrome Remote Desktop (RDP) app.

Based on Google's recent introduction of its Chrome RDP extension, the Android app is designed to make it even easier to access your computer from a remote location.

The extension requires the Chrome web browser to be installed on both machines, but once it is up and running, controlling it is as simple as deciding on and sharing a PIN code. Once the PIN code has been shared once, there is the option to bypass it in the future, making it ideal for helping less than tech-savvy friends and relatives.

One strange quirk, however, is that there is no facility yet for remote access to a Chromebook. You can use the Chromebook to access Windows and Linux machines, but attempting to configure it for a Chrome OS device is met with a "coming soon" message. It is worth noting, though, that this news story was written on a Google Chromebook accessing a Windows 8 machine using Chrome Remote Desktop, and the whole configuration process took under one minute.

Chrome Remote Desktop is not the first remote desktop app for Android. Last year, Microsoft introduced its own RDP client, while VNC recently announced that it made its own solution free after Logmein removed its own free options.

The other main announcement from Google's regular Wednesday update is the arrival of the stock Android camera app to the Google Play store. The camera, which is available on so-called "vanilla" devices such as Nexus smartphones, has been ported before, but this is the first time that it has been released to all devices.

The app brings with it the ability to blur background images, but the killer feature is Google's panoramic Photosphere feature that allows users to create full 360 degree images of their surroundings.

Google now lets users upload their images for consideration to be added to Google Earth Streetview, opening its worldwide mapping to crowdsourcing for the first time. Finally, Google Calendar has been updated to suggest locations from Google Maps when you make a new appointment. It's a feature that third-party calendar apps have had for some time, but it is now available for stock Google Calendar users. µ`


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