Google Chrome Remote Desktop now serves PC screens to Android

Chrome Remote Desktop for Android
Work from anywhere

There are many ways to share and access a remote computer using virtual network computing (VNC) on mobile devices, but this week Google is serving up one of its own solutions for Android users.

The Google Chrome Blog heralded the release of Chrome Remote Desktop for Android, a free Google Play app that allows smartphones and tablets to remotely access computers through any internet connection.

Together with host software available on Windows or Mac, Chrome Remote Desktop is an app-based extension of the service Google first introduced in 2011, which allowed Chrome OS or Chrome browser users to remotely access personal computers back home.

For now, the app is only available for devices running Android 4.0 or higher, but Google promised that an iOS version is planned for "later this year."

How to use Chrome Remote Desktop

Windows and Mac computers can be enabled for mobile access by installing Chrome Remote Desktop, a free Chrome extension used to establish PIN codes and begin sharing desktop screens.

Available for Windows XP and above or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and up, the fairly basic Chrome Desktop App worked quite well in TechRadar's initial tests using a 2013 Nexus 7 and a mid-2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Once launched, users simply tap on the name of the remote computer previously set up in Chrome, and within seconds the desktop appears over a Wi-Fi or cellular-equipped network, just as if the user was sitting back at home.

Google touts Chrome Remote Desktop as "free, easy and secure," although the Google Play app description encourages potential users to read the respective Google and Chrome privacy policies, presumably to fend off accusations the search giant may be keeping an eye on those who use the service.