Screen sharing apps such as Mikogo can be useful for all kind of tasks by allow screen sharing between all kinds of devices, ideal for business and personal users on the move. While remote access tools make it possible to control a computer from an phone or tablet, you might well wonder why apps designed to simply display what is happening on a remote computer might be useful.
From a business point of view, such tools are great for giving presentations. Rather than battling with a projector, or having a group of people straining to see a single monitor, participants can dial into a presentation and view it on a variety of devices. With Mikogo, Android tablets and phones can be used to view remote presentations, but there are also situations in which such tools could prove useful outside the world of business. Rather than gathering the family around a computer to view a slideshow, you can direct the presentation from your laptop while your family dial in on their Androids.
Apps like this can also be used to share websites, spreasheets, and almost any other application that you might want other people to be able to see. Of course, security is a key concern with tools such as this, so sessions are protected to prevent unauthorized viewers.Before getting started, you’ll need to make sure that you have the desktop companion installed on whichever computer you want to share. Mikogo’s is available for Windows, OS X and Linux, so there is scope for working in a mixed platform environment.
After installation of the desktop companion on your desktop or laptop grab a copy of the mobile app from one of the app store links below. When the desktop app is run for the first time, you will be invited to sign up for a new Mikogo account (free of charge) if you did not do so before downloading the software. Once signed in you can then start a sharing session – this is a simple menu selection and there’s no complex configuration to worry about. With the program running on your desktop, the app can be fired up on a tablet or phone. Dialing into a session that has been set up requires little more than entering the relevant Session ID – this information is provided in the desktop program.
After login credentials have been validated you’ll be connected to the remote session. Getting in on the action is fairly fast, but there is a noticeable lag in the display and performance is a little jerky even when using a fast network connection. Intelligent scaling means that a viewer is able to view the entire desktop at once, but zooming is also available. From a viewer’s point of view, there are virtually no settings to work with. Zooming is available using a pinch gesture, but apart from this, the only option is to leave. When you are zoomed in – which can be handy if you are using a small screen or need to check something in closer detail – you can then tap and drag to move around. To help ensure that on-screen action is easy to see, Mikogo introduces a large, clear cursor that the remote viewer should find easy to keep track of.
There is nothing to complain about Mikogo in terms of its use, it’s hard to imagine how the app could be any simpler or more intuitive. But while it’s easy to get up and running, it is not perfect. The laggy, jerky image quality is a problem. This can be addressed to some extent by adjusting image quality in the desktop program, but it does still mean that there are problems displaying fast moving output such as video footage. There is also no support for multiple monitors. In business environments, and increasingly in the home, it is very common to have more than one display connected to a computer. Having a second monitor in place will not stop you from using Mikogo, but you can only view and share whatever is on the primary display. For small companies, it offers a great way to host meetings without the need to gather everyone together in the same room. There are better and more feature-packed tools available, but this is a great option for anyone looking to keep things as simple as possible.