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Google Chrome remote desktop app lets you control your PC with your smartphone

Google added a remote desktop extension to its Chrome web store a while back, but its getting more useful with the release of Chrome Remote Desktop for Android. This app works like any number of other remote access solutions, except with much less setup and a fairly basic feature set.

To enable remote access through Chrome, you need to add the extension on a computer and enable remote access. You don't have to actually keep a browser window open, but a process will run in the background. A PIN code is used to secure your computer, but you also need to be logged into the correct Google account in the Android app.

The cursor is controlled by dragging anywhere on the screen. If you're zoomed in, the view slides with the cursor when it nears the edge of the screen. The zoom level can also be changed with the usual multitouch gestures. There's no direct tapping interaction with Chrome Remote Desktop—you're always relying on the cursor. As such, Windows 8 moders apps can be a bit tedious.

The app could use some sort of tutorial, because clicking is not intuitive at all. To click and drag, you long-press until there's a flash around the cursor, then drag where you want. For a right-click, you long-press with two fingers. It's fine once you figure it out, but it's quite different from other apps that rely on the cursor for remote control.

While there are a few weird things about the Chrome Remote Desktop app, it is very smooth and treats multiple monitors like one large desktop. That's certainly preferable to constantly switching between them. Chrome Remote Desktop is free and seems to work very well overall.