Ok, so it's not that expensive, but $10 (5.99GBP)? Seems a little pricey for a remote viewer client (though LogMeIn will run you $30, by comparison), especially considering RealVNC's "Personal Edition" desktop software costs 30 bucks. Fear not, because there is a free version of the RealVNC software for Windows, and while it lacks a lot of the nifty features the full Personal Edition has, the Android viewer client doesn't support most of them anyway.

If you want a completely free Android VNC experience, I suggest TightVNC for PC or Chicken of the VNC for OS X, combined with the equally free android-vnc-viewer (though you'll probably spend a little more time configuring them).

You can find the market page for the RealVNC Viewer for Android here. RealVNC has provided a breakdown of the viewer's features, so I'll leave it to their Market page's blurb to enumerate them:


* Interact with your computer as though sitting in front of it.
* Give connections user-friendly names, and see desktop previews.
* Pinch to zoom in to a specific area, or out to see the whole picture.
* Easy navigation, scrolling, dragging, and selection using standard touch, tap, and drag gestures.
* Mouse button mode for precise control over mouse button and scrolling operations.
* Easy text entry using on-screen keyboard with preview.
* Important non-character keyboard keys (function, modifier, and so on) available on a scrolling key bar.
* Automatic performance optimization.
* Support for screen resolutions up to 5120 by 2400 pixels (though the actual resolution is limited only by the memory of your device).


Users connecting to VNC Enterprise Edition also enjoy the following significant benefits:

* Connections encrypted using up to 256-bit AES technology.
* Authentication credentials protected by 2048-bit RSA public keys.
* System authentication to connect using computer log on credentials.
* Enhanced performance.
* Support for non-US keyboards.
* Transfer text between applications on your computer and device.

This app is probably a must-have if your workplace uses VNC Enterprise - which is quite popular, actually (my old office used it, at least). One caveat, RealVNC's desktop software isn't OS X-friendly (unless you're using VNC Enterprise), so you would have to use an alternative VNC server (eg, OS X's built-in Remote Desktop) for the RealVNC Android viewer to work with your Apple machine. Here's some pretty pictures:

ss-0-320-480-160-0-3233de6d78181e7fbe15a8c26a8141abef6dbc40 ss-1-320-480-160-0-e983d7f50ba7b1934a4a1c58de08de2af885ef02

Here are RealVNC's setup instructions:

1. Download VNC Viewer from the Android Market.
2. If the computer you want to control is running Mac OS X 10.4 or later, enable Apple Remote Desktop/Remote Management (see below for more information). If not, install and start a VNC-compatible Server.
3. If you are connecting over the Internet (for example, via 3G), configure firewalls and routers protecting the computer to allow and forward network communications to it. Start with www.realvnc.com/products/android/1.0 for more information. If you are connecting over a Wi-Fi-enabled private network such as a LAN or VPN, you should be able to connect without further configuration.
4. Find out the network address of the computer. If you are connecting over the Internet, this will probably be that of a router. You will also need a port number if the VNC-compatible Server is listening on a port other than the default for VNC, 5900 (note this is not necessary for Apple Remote Desktop/Remote Management).
5. Start VNC Viewer, identify the computer you want to control, and connect!

Finally, here's a fun little video of RealVNC in action:

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.realvnc.viewer.android

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • scottishwildcat

    Ouch. Too many good free VNC viewers out there already to bother with this, I'm afraid.

  • EdBoyWW

    For free. thet's it.

  • hackmeister

    AndroidVNC is free and works perfectly well.

    • David Ruddock

      Indeed, and that's why I linked it at the top of the article in the big, conspicuous blue note box.

  • Darius_bd

    You stole my words.

    Additionally, TeamViewer kicks LogMeIn's ass by providing mirroring of even DirectX applications, whereas LMI just shows a black screen.

    And it's free for personal use. DUH.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    I actually prefer Remote VNC Pro (the free version) - it's easiest to navigate around the screen out of all these apps. But yeah, I see no reason to pay $10 yet.

  • bberry

    Pocketwyze is the best VNC client so far. I'll try this though.

  • Gene Vayngrib

    README needs a small edit for 64bit Ubuntu.
    I had to do the following to get BBQScreenClient2 to work on 64-bit Ubuntu (after installing ia32, which I am not sure was needed though)
    sudo apt-get install libqt5network5:i386 libqt5widgets5:i386

    I must say, I have tried all other screen casting/mirroring methods I could find in the last 3 days, including AirDroid, droid vnc, droid@screen, fastdroid-vnc, and several others, and none can even come close to bbqscreen in speed (fps is awesome). And my device is an
    old Samsung galaxy s2 (rooted and loaded with SlimROM Jelly Bean 4.2.2).
    Droid vnc, second best, is about 4-5 frames per second only and very laggy.

    To get a sharper screen with BBQScreen I changed the scale to 90%. When I tried 100% it hung the Android. No biggy. Thank you so much for this, a life saver for demos!