Today’s post will be about an app I found on the app store called “Microsoft Remote Desktop”. A free app that allows you to access your Windows or Mac desktop from your iPad and works in a similar way to TeamViewer or Splashtop remote desktop software.
It is very simple to set up and you’ll be able to interact with the computer through touch – the way Microsoft somewhat imagined you would do with Windows 8/8.1 and then improved it in Windows 10.
The Microsoft Remote Desktop Assistant app for Windows lets you remote control your pc
- Download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop App on your iPad.
- Download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop Assistant app on your computer
- Run both apps
- On the iPad app, enter the username from the assistant screen and your Windows account password to gain access to your desktop
- That’s all! You’ll be signed out of Windows on your desktop and a new session will be created on the iPad (picking up where you left off)
Windows 10 running on iPad – tablet mode
You can close the lid of your laptop too. To exit, sign back in on the PC or close the connection from the iPad.
The app is very stable and you notice very little lag when you’re using it. It’s best if you have a fast internet connection though.
It’s definitely not an excuse for you to forget about your desktop or laptop completely, but its a handy way of getting to it for some light content. Its also cool to show your friends that you can run Windows on an iPad – sort of.
In 2012, I used Splashtop to control my Windows 8 PC from my iPad. Here is the actual image from that time:
Download it for free from the app store today and tell me what you think.
The more posts I write, and the more I go back and look at them – the more I realise that I haven’t explicitly told you my reasons for liking iPad for learning with at uni. So here is a list of just that.
- It’s the future!
- It’s useful for tube journeys (shameless previous post plug!)
- Blackboard is quick to access
- I like having my uni stuff separate from personal iPad and iPhone stuff.
- Don’t need to carry laptop just to take, download or follow notes
- I can annotate on notes!
- Syncing of files is excellent (iCloud)
- iTunes U is the best education app I have ever used – lots of useful courses and videos
- The app selection is incredible – “there’s an app for that”
- Good for typing quick emails and for keeping a tab on incoming emails too
- It doesn’t complain if I leave it at home
- It’s thin and light and I barely know it’s in my bag
- iPad doesn’t act like a barrier between me and the lecturer like a laptop does
- The battery lasts longer than my laptop sometimes
- My timetable works perfectly with the native calendar app
- Because I have my timetable in calendar, it tells me the times I should leave so I won’t be late
- Two things at once on screen mean I can have Pages and News open (Slide Over)
- AirDrop notes and things to my laptop/iPhone is very convenient
- I can access OneDrive, iCloud Drive and Google Drive without logging in every time
- It’s the best tool I’ve used for revision – lightweight and easy to revise on
- iBooks keeps my coursework specs in one place
I’m sure this post sounded more like an iPad ad in some ways, but those are all valid points! There are loads more, but can’t think of anymore right now.
Some things I don’t like about using the iPad for learning:
- Due to the MDM profile, I’m forced to type in a long password, when I would really like to use a quicker pin (it doesn’t have Touch ID)
- I’m reminded on the lock screen and settings app that my iPad is managed by the university and that my location and web traffic is monitored. While this is fine, it still would be nice if it didn’t word it that way!
- Can’t code on it
- Blackboard app is not reliable. It’s easier and quicker to use Safari to access Blackboard!
Imagine if you could continue reading that article you were looking at during breakfast, or do some quick revision on Java – on the tube, without Internet.
With the reading list feature you can do just that. It’s a really clever option that I found to be useful on a somewhat boring journey to uni. Best of all – there is nothing to set up, not even an iCloud password to enter.
To get started, open up Safari and begin by opening the site that you want to be able to view offline. Make sure it’s fully loaded. You’ll know it’s fully loaded by the fact the blue bar at the top reaches the end of the URL bar and disappears.
Tap the share icon, and choose Reading List (it’s the icon with the Steve Jobs glasses). Then wait a few moments for the page to save in the background. You won’t get any visual cues that it’s done, but if you no longer see the spinning wheel at the top of the screen (next to the iPad text), you can assume it’s been saved/added to reading list.
And that’s it!
To get back to that site, when you’re offline, open Safari and tap the book icon. Choose the glasses icon and you will see all the sites available to you.
It’s not really going to work for videos and it’s best for sites that have a lot of text rather than images (though it will save images). Also, the more content on the page, the longer it will take to save. You can check if the page got saved by closing the tab, turning on airplane mode and trying to access the site from your reading list before you make your actual offline journey.
Give it a try and tell me what you think in the comments!