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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

If you have ever tried to do tech support for someone on the go, needed to remotely see how exactly somebody did something on their computer, or found it necessary to view another person's screen from your smartphone for some other reason, you're already well aware of the frustration that arises from not having your computer handy. Fortunately for you, you've got an Android phone, and I've got the perfect tool for you.

Join.me, a sweet program designed by those crazy screen-sharing, remote-controlling, virtual LAN-creating programaholics at LogMeIn, allows you to either share your computer screen or view people sharing their screens from anywhere. Much like LogMeIn's other products, Join.me is super simple and squeaky clean in execution. Its premise is simple: the presenter downloads a disposable .EXE file, runs it, and shares the session number with all the people who need to see his (or her, ladies) screen. It is the quickest and easiest method of accomplishing this task that I've seen so far.

Here's how it's done:

To broadcast your screen or have someone set up their computer so you can view it, go to http://Join.me. Click share. It will download a small .EXE program that you then must run.

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After you've run said application, you will display a little box up top that gives you a session number.

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You can choose to either email this address or copy it to your clipboard. Then, on a computer, someone can visit that address and view or control your computer right in the browser. This is already awesome, and we haven't even gotten to the Android part yet.

Now here's where Android comes in. Get the Join.me viewer from the Market. After it's installed, run it and you should get this screen:

snap20110406_165134

Obtain the session number from the person you want to stalk screen conference with and type it in there. You're in.

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Now, while you can't control the computer from your phone, you can still carry out some pretty awesome things here. For example, you can watch obsessively over every move the other makes, judging them at every possible opportunity you can view other participants, chat with them, initiate a conference call, or just kick back and see what they are showing you.

snap20110406_165330 snap20110406_171005 snap20110406_171401 snap20110406_165348

On the computer side of things, you can relinquish control of your computer to another viewer who is using a computer, pause the screen, chat, or just end the screencast. When the conference is over, it will notify the other users involved.

  chat paused snap20110406_171525

The app as a whole is very smooth and enjoyable to use. While the movements on the screen aren't completely fluid, you can definitely tell what's going on. The ability to control the screen would have been a nice addition, but there are other options, if that's your intention. This is one of the few screen sharing systems that is dead simple for both the viewer and the sharer. If you view other people's screens a lot or need to have others view your monitor, this is far and away the easiest method. Aside from the functionality being simple and smooth, the app just looks pretty, which is refreshing in a program of this nature. The little desktop widget is non-intrusive and, better yet, can be moved. Pinch zooming on the phone is flawless and buttery smooth.

So if you're looking for a simple, bells-and-whistles-free way to spy on unsuspecting victims of your voyeuristic computer screen obsession view another person's screen or share your own computer display, you can nab Join.me right here:

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • Joe

    Why would I want this if I already have Teamviewer, which is free and let's me control the computer I am viewing?

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

      Join.me is great for more for one-off connections where you're trying to give support to someone who doesn't have RDP or VNC installed (think your grandma) or join a quick session with some guy giving a presentation at work. I've used join.me before (though not on a phone), and it's probably the easiest way to share a screen quickly.

      • Paul

        Teamviewer does the same thing. Works through firewalls and such. They have a QS (quick Support) disposable exe, the end user runs it, gives me their ID and boom, I can connect to them with my Android phone or Mac or Windows, etc. I use this all the time to help my family. It doesn't use RDP or VNC, no port forwarding required. This seems like an exact copy of TeamViewer's idea. One thing I like about TeamViewer is it's much faster than VNC, the screen refresh rate is much quicker and responsive. Still, I'll give this one a shot, I want to see if they're just as fast. I use TeamViewer to control my media-pc and it's annoying when I disconnect from teamviewer that a popup comes up saying "This has been a free session blah blah blah" that little window that pops up gets in the way of boxee, vlc, etc.

  • DreWskee

    I agree. I use TeamViewer all the time for multiple reasons, easy access. custom passwords to login. Its really great except for the pop up when you close out. I want to give this a shot to see if maybe it performs just as well without a pop up. Thanks

  • jthoroo

    Ok abt Teamviewer. Use it also on PC to PC comms. But I find no teamviewer app in the android market...so this join-me thingy helps to see at least whats on the PC screen from my android phone...not bad...and it's free also.

    John

  • http://samsunggalaxys2blog.com/ Bebeok

    complicated work

  • Олег Крылов

    I use http://www.radmin.com/ take more than three years. Fast and safe program for remote control of computers. Advantages, high speed, reliable security system