If you've ever wanted to keep an eye on your computer from your smartphone whilst you're out and about, then you'll know how limited your options are. You could use a remote monitoring tool such as LogMeIn Ignition to physically control the machine, but it doesn't offer a quick overview of resources on your phone and the application costs a cent shy of $30, which isn't exactly a price that encourages impulse buying.
If LogMeIn doesn't fit the bill, and you're looking for an application that can show you all the information that you need to know on the screen of your smartphone, without having to take control of the actual machine and navigate Windows on a 3.5-inch screen, then you may want to take a closer look at PC Monitor.
The app recently hit version 2.0 and took a price dive with the version upgrade. In fact, the price dived so deep that it is now completely free to download, so you have no real excuse not to check it out.
Before you can begin to use PC Monitor on your phone, you must first download a desktop client that allows the Android application to interact with your computer. You can currently download the desktop version for Windows (32 or 64-bit) or Linux, but Mac users are out of luck at the moment.
Once you have downloaded the 3MB program, you can proceed to install it and then set up your account with the service. If you don't already have an account, you will be prompted to choose a username and password which you will later use to set up the service on your phone.
From the desktop client, you can choose to monitor certain processes, scheduled tasks and other services running on your machine. You can't view every single service that's running on your machine unless you manually select them all, as the application is designed to monitor certain key services rather than everything that's happening on your computer, but if there are some that you want to keep an eye on, then you'll be able to select them without any problems.
Once everything is set up on the desktop end, you can finally get to the good part and download the free Android application. It's less than a megabyte, so you don't have to worry about a large app taking up all of the internal storage up on your phone, and it doesn't take long to download.
When you first open the app, you will be prompted to login with the information you just used to set up your desktop client. Use the same username and password as before, and you will be given a list of all the computers which are currently being monitored. I'm currently only monitoring one computer, but if you're managing a few - you can manage up to three for free, and then there are tiered plans available for users who want to manage more - then you might want to arrange your machines in to groups so that you can quickly access relevant information together.
Once you're viewing information about your computer, you can see a system overview which will show you how much CPU is currently being used, how much free RAM you have available and your external IP address too.
If you want some more detailed information then you can scroll down to the 'System Details' section of the app where you can view more hardware information such as temperatures and fan speeds of the computer, as well as all running processes and monitored services. From here, you can even view all of the information on your local hard disks and browse the file structure for any .log files that you wish to send or interact with.
The application is also capable of sending commands from your phone to the desktop client remotely, and there are a number of default commands such as 'Logoff', 'Restart' and 'Shut Down' that you can choose from. In addition to this, a Wake on WAN feature is also supported. If you want to send your own commands to the computer then you can do so by opening the command prompt in the 'System Details' section of the app. You can type any command using the keyboard on your phone, and then PC Monitor will wait for a reply from the machine and display the contents on your screen.
If you want to be able to see everything that's going on in your computer, then PC Monitor is definitely worth looking at. I have never seen an application before that can monitor every minor detail of your PC so comprehensively on your phone, and display it in a really easy-to-view manner. It's a must have for any power user out there, so if you have a Windows or Linux computer and want to check it out, then you can download it for free from the Market right now.