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Turn Your Android Phone into a Remote Control for Your PC

Would you like to play media files or use your PC by remote control? Here’s how you can turn your Android phone into a remote control with GMote 2.0.

What You’ll Need:

  • GMote Server software installed on your Computer.
  • GMote app installed from the Android Market.
  • Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.
  • A WiFi router. You can use GMote over your 3G connection, but it will require you to forward port 8889 on your router.

Download and install GMote from the Android Market.

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When you launch the GMote app for the first time on your Android device, you’ll be prompted to install the Gmote server software on your computer. You can find the download link at the end of this article, or you can choose to have the link sent to your inbox by selecting (Email me the link).

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Installing the GMote Server

Select your platform and OS and download the appropriate package. (Download link below)

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It’s a straightforward install, you can take the defaults.

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You’ll need to Unblock or Accept any firewall prompts.

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You’ll be prompted to choose a password (optional). Type a password and click OK, or simply Cancel.

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Next, you’ll have the option of adding the locations of any media files on your computer. This will allow you to easily find and play those files from your Android device. Click Done when finished.

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Your GMote server will run in the system tray.

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Now that the server is installed, it’s time to return to Android. Select I have installed the Server. Start GMote!

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Open the GMote App. You may be prompted to choose your server computer. If you don’t see it listed, select I don’t see my server or I want to enter my IP manually.

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If you set up a password, you’ll also be prompted to enter it.

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Controlling Your Computer

GMote has two screens you can use to control your computer. The remote screen has some basic controls for media playback. Tap Browse at the top left to browse any media folders you added during setup, or tap the power icon at the top right to close the currently running application on your computer.

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Select the directory with your media files or browse for a different folder.

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Tap the file you’d like to play to begin playback on your computer.

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Now you can use the Play, Stop, Skip Forward/Back, Pause, and Volume buttons to control playback.

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You can switch to the touch pad mode by selecting your menu button and tapping Touchpad.

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The Touch screen allows you to control mouse movements with the flick of a finger across the screen.  Tap or double tap on the screen to simulate left mouse click or double click. Tap and hold to simulate a right-click on the mouse.

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Tap the keyboard icon at the top left to bring up the on screen keyboard and key in text.

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To modify the sensitivity and acceleration settings, press Android’s Menu button and select Settings while on the GMote touch screen.

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This will allow you to adjust how far the computer’s mouse will travel when you slide your finger along the screen.

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Conclusion

While GMote is not likely to make an HTPC owner forsake their remote control, it is a very nice solution for Android owners who wish to be able to play and control media on their PC from across the room.

Download GMote Server

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 07/20/10

Comments (17)

  1. 216

    Gmote’s always been a favorite of mine.

  2. Aaron M

    I like this idea, but I think a better idea is to install xbmc on your windows, mac, or linux machine and then install the official xbmc android remote that was just put in the android market last week which is completely free and controls xbmc extremely well. The gmote video player I didn’t think look as good as xbmc. Just wanted to post the other option if you have xbmc already installed.

  3. Anuj

    XBMC is pretty bad, it is customizable but its lot of study to make it work, if its made for windows should work like windows, it feels like linux with XBMC to get an event server to install…

  4. Bobro

    Gmote is Awesome, fantastic bit of kit when i had it… never once used it properly, only to show off to friends! still fantastic…

    it would of been good if you could stream the video to the phone (it was in beta when i was using it and didnt work)

  5. Adam

    Gmote doesn’t control media centre. it plays everything in it’s own player

  6. fredphoesh

    XBMC is really easy, I am not a techie, and the XBMC remote for android is WAAAAY better than this Gmote thing, which is JUST a remote… XBMC you can browse album art, artists, albums, playlists, superb IMO.

    Mark.

  7. dan

    I like the ideas behind ncontrol better its just a shame its not working properly yet. Its still an early port from iphone though. I really want a remote for 7mc that lets you browse your content on the remote itself and the launch on the media center. Would be great if you could browse the tv guide on the android tablet and set recordings. There are bits of software out there that do these things but not in a single app.

  8. Abe

    Big problem with XBMC remote is that it doesn’t work with XBMC 10 (dharma)… Can only browse files and start them, can’t control them (as in pause or jump tracks) which is what a remote should do. I’m sure this is just a temporary glitch though, but until its fixed, G-Mote’s definitely got a leg up.

  9. Richard

    I use PhoneMyPC.

    I used it in Morocco to work on my PC when I needed to place some Forex Trades. It allows me to take full control of my PC just like RemotelyAnywhere and the like – only using a phone – how cool is that?!.

    Worked straight “out of the box” on my HTC Desire.

  10. Barry

    My question is why, why would you want to do that. I mean how lazy do you have to be to make a remote for you PC :)

  11. Shark

    does it work on nokia 5230 ?

  12. dspearma

    @ Barry: There are MANY reasons one would want to use this application
    1. Allows you to use your phone as a wireless mouse (a good wireless mouse costs about $30 plus one USB port)
    2. It’s great for in classroom use. I can show a PowerPoint presentation without being tethered to the podium allowing me to walk around and interact with the class.
    3. It’s great if you connect your PC to an external monitor (such as a large flat screen tv) allowing you to use your computer as a home theater system.

  13. JANE

    does gmote can connect via bluetooth? if not, is there any free software that does connect via bluetooth?

  14. nish

    yes there is a software that uses buletooth to control ur mouse and keyboard
    use uinified remote control

  15. Biggy

    I just wanted to say that most of these PC remotes don’t work on your phone if u have the new USB internet connections, these wont work on them. The reason is cuz they have to be connected to the same internet connection as your computer, and USB internet cant work unless u have a USB connection so yea don’t wast your time trying to figure out why it is not working if u have that kind of internet.. :-P

  16. nate

    I like being able to lay in bed and control the music, especially the volume since I live in an apartment. Would be nice if you could queue media..but im not complaining.

  17. why

    I think apps like this is cool but they also suck,it would have been good if you could use it just by connecting it to ur computer by USB to with out a server link

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