12
Jul
unnamed

We've all been there – your parent, friend, or significant other is having a phone issue, but you're not nearby. The process of talking someone through troubleshooting via IM or voice is frustrating at best. Well, at long last TeamViewer QuickSupport has come to all Android devices. It was previously only available on select Samsung phones. With this app installed, you can access a phone or tablet remotely from a desktop computer running Windows, Linux, or OS X. And it's free.

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All you need is the TeamViewer desktop client, which also works with other PCs, by the way. To initiate a support session, get the ID and passcode generated by the app on the target phone. The connection goes through, and bingo – you can view the remote device live. Now you can actually see what your friend is seeing, thus making troubleshooting much easier. If the Android device is rooted, you can also take control of it and enter inputs remotely. This feature was supported natively on Samsung devices, but it looks like root is needed on others.

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The desktop client also pulls a ton of useful information from the device like battery level, storage space, and hardware specs. It even lists installed apps and running processes. There is chat built into the app so you can communicate with the person using the phone from this one program. This is currently the best way to handle remote support on Android, so take a look.

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[BuisnessWire]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Daniel Wiggins

    yes!

  • lokiisyourmaster

    Great news! But unfortunately the Linux version of teamviewer can't connect to my phone - says its "old version"...

    • Japzone

      This is retarded. Just tried myself and sure enough it says "Your Partner Uses a Newer version of TeamViewer" despite me checking and confirming that I am indeed running the latest version. They should have had this nailed down already. Seriously, most of the people that I know that would find a remote support tool useful are people that are Tech enthusiasts(hence people asking them for help) who run Linux.

      • dollabill

        yes, this problem is frustrating me

  • Carlos

    Yeay, at last!!

  • Jacek Kazimierowicz

    It's a pitty that it needs a root. Most of the time we need to help people which are on entrylevel of android so they don't have root.

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      It's not a pity, it's logical.
      That much access without root should never be given.

      • fonix232

        Yes, because for the same you need root/admin access on your computer too...
        I simply don't understand people who trust their phones more than their laptop or even, stationary computers. Phones are lost/stolen a lot more than laptops, yet people tend to trust these devices with a lot of information not found on their computers.

        Disposing your phone via TeamViewer has some security layers, you know. First of all, the remote computer has to know the ID and the current password of the client. Now, if you don't use it every day, you probably won't set a static password. This way you get a new passcode every day, meaning you cannot be accessed that easily.

        Root is not required because of security. It is required because Android does not give access to the framebuffer directly to any user, just root. Meaning, if you want the current screen captured, you need root (or some other trickery that is implemented framework-level, the reason it works without root on Samsung devices). Could it be solved to use it without root? Definitely. Will it ever happen? Unlikely. Why? Samsung won't disclose their API for accessing the framebuffer via an application, for security reasons (yes, the reasons you were so attached to). If Samsung disclosed it, on short term a lot of custom ROMs would adapt it, but as usual, these solutions were never meant for other devices. This way we get a broader overview, more holes to exploit, and indeed, your fears would come true with someone hijacking your screen. On long-term, it would get patched eventually, then MAYBE included in AOSP. But it is very unlikely.

      • Sebastian Kleye

        Sorry, but Teamviewer is a remote help tool. Why should anybody who accomplished root need help by another person? :) Next question: Why is it working without root using the Samsung QS app? I hope you and your paranoia are not using a Samsung phone...

        • Jacek Kazimierowicz

          Probably samsung gave some "open window" in the code to them. But as you said without root it is useless to us. How can I help someone with it? Taking screenshots every second? btw, there is a flashable zip somewhere on xda with teamviewer qs which works on every device (it copies some libs or something)

    • Elizabeth M. Lane

      like Todd explained I'm dazzled that some one can profit $7177 in four weeks on the computer. did you see this web link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • PiNiO

      It doesn't need root access just checked with my Xperia Z (not rooted) and it works fine including remote control.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        It's because you have a Sony phone. According to the description:
        "It is even possible for your device (Samsung, Sony, Alcatel One Touch /
        TCL, Medion and more) to be remotely controlled, allowing the technician
        to access your device as if it were in their own hands."

        For other devices, like the Nexus 4, it requests root permissions when the TeamViewer computer client asks to remote control the mobile device.

        • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

          On my LG phone it doesn't require root.

  • melhiore

    Shame mobile has to be rooted to see the screen....

    • Davide Brutti

      Shame lol? Can you image if an app would have the permission to see EVERYTHING on your device's screen?

      • Sebastian Kleye

        The Samsung edition has. Without root.

        • enoch861

          thats because Samsung devices, if I'm not mistaken, have remote help functionality built in and TeamViewer used it. Others don't have it thus the necessity for root.

          • Eddy

            Root is only for CONTROL, not to see the screen.

          • Zaatour36

            i just downloaded it to my non-rooted tablet, and it would not see the screen, only look at some minor device settings. Also, installed apps which can be uninstalled after the remote user click "uninstall" screen shot doesn't work.

            And trying to connect from my Android version to it, say's "Incompatible TeamViewer versions" !!! and closes

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Eddy was mistaken. Since your tablet is not Samsung or Sony and it's not rooted, you can't see the screen. The only thing you can do is request screenshots.

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Actually, you can't see a live broadcast of the screen on non-root or a non-supported device. You only have the ability to REQUEST for screenshots from the phone. Then someone has to press VolDown+Power on the phone to provide you with a screenshot.

            If you want a live broadcast of the display on a non-supported device, the phone will ask for root when your request for remote control is granted.

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        I can use the Android SDK to screen capture my screen, and I didn't have to root my phone.

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      Now start thinking why such a powerful right should not be given without requiring root access, shake your head and downvote your own posting.

      • melhiore

        I do not see any particular reason. Access should be password protected, I'm using TeamViewer for corporate use every day. It is safe, there is minimal or non existent chance to break in to your phone...

        • Thatguyfromvienna

          If the actual functionality was possible without root - how can you be sure that no other app would simply incorporate it without a password? Backdoor, anybody?

          • melhiore

            Yes, backdoor is fine, I agree. However you can not assume that everything exist only to be exploited, there are mechanisms that will allow you to protect your precious screen...

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            "However you can not assume that everything exist only to be exploited"

            You didn't listen to the news lately, hu?

            "there are mechanisms that will allow you to protect"

            Yeah, the obvious mechanism being "root only".

          • melhiore

            That is exactly why I do not want root, I want the app to share my screen w/o any excessive rights. Screen sharing happend to be one of the things root should not be required. I do not see ANY smart reason for this...

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            Dude, seriously...
            Sharing your screen is one of the most excessive rights ever!
            There are MANY smart reasons it's not possible so easily.

          • melhiore

            You see that is the problem, I do not see any... I disagree with the idea of rooting my phone just to do simple screen sharing If you're right apps like PCAnywhere, TeamViewer or any other remote access stuff should not exist....

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            You fail to see that YOU DO HAVE root access to your computer at home.

          • melhiore

            No I do not, I use Linux, I do understand how root access works, my account is standard user and I can still share my screen, MacOS is doing the same, Windows does not have to have admin privileges to share screen...

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            A standard user already has elevated rights compared to a guest.
            And that's what you basically are in Android.

          • melhiore

            Cool, so why I can not share my own screen w/o root?? I want to share my own session, not root access...

          • didibus

            Pretty sure Team Viewer requires root on Windows when you install it. It asks for elevated permissions. What I would like to see is a way to set-up a root account that is standard, just like on Linux. What is annoying is Android basically thinks you are too dumb to be root, so you need to perform an exploit to gain back the root account.

            It would be nice if on first boot, you set-up your Google account as your non root account, and than it would ask you for a password for the root account. Than, when installing an app that wants root functionality, it could ask for the root password, like on Windows.

          • melhiore

            Password protected root account should be fine. Team Viewer asks for admin password to install it self however when you sharing the screen you sharing current session only... For any operation that require elevated privileges you need to provide admin password... And that is very good solution...

          • Japzone

            Only for certain features does TV need Admin access on a PC(VPN, Run on Boot, etc...). They have a Portable version of TV that works on almost every PC I've used. Even locked down School PCs(as long as they allow the running of non-whitelisted programs).

          • didibus

            Hum, so you could share your School's screen, and access it from your home computer?

      • Tarun Pemmaraju

        Simple, use the Android permissions system.

    • Eddy

      You do NOT need root to see the screen....only for remote access.

      • Sebastian Kleye

        The Samsung edition never had a dashboard. Upon connection and permission from the phone user it took you right to the screen with rdp or vnc-like control.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        Incorrect. On non-rooted or non-supported devices, such as the Nexus 4, you can't see the screen. You can only request screenshots.

  • Bazar6

    O hell yes! I use TeamViewer a lot from phone to computer and hated that the GNex was not part of that "Samsung exclusivity"... so glad it's open now!!!

  • NuLLnVoiD

    STILL NOT WORKING - I tried this with my wife's Droid RAZR and it made my PC version crash every time.

  • Tarun Pemmaraju

    It wasn't exclusive, it was just that only post-ICS Samsung phones had the library that allowed it to work, which is why you need root access on other devices.

    • NuLLnVoiD

      "only Samsung" - doesn't that mean exclusive? Intentional or not?

      • Tarun Pemmaraju

        Well, I meant that any user with root could run the app if they copied that lib from a Samsung phone. So yeah, it was exclusive, but not intentionally.

        • NuLLnVoiD

          Got it. Good clarification.

        • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

          According to the guy who did the mod of the original QuickSupport app to have it work on other phones, it's not that trivial. He only could make QS work on custom ROMs, since they have freely available platform keys. He could never make the modded QS app work on say a Nexus 4 on a stock ROM, regardless of the fact that it was rooted. Here's the thread:
          http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1836780

          It's somewhere in there.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    On Linux it says that my phone is using a later version of TeamViewer, when I am running most up to date version of the release for Linux.

  • John McLeod

    it doesnt require root

  • Jay

    The remote support application I use just released an app for Samsung as well. It works great. You do have to have an existing instance of ScreenConnect (as mentioned in the description). Works get for computer techs, system admins, ect. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elsitech.screenconnect.androidclient.samsung&hl=en

  • henrymart81

    Teamviewer doesn't presently work with Galaxy Note 3 :-( Hopefully they get it soon!

  • abhijit

    I cannot see the screen with an intention to demo the app on my desktop though

  • Marko Nykänen

    Toimiiko Tv support samsung galaxy ace 3

  • Trapeze-artist

    As far as I can see it does not give access to what is appearing on the screen - at least not on LG Gpad - or am I missing something

  • ahmed

    my tablet is Acer b1-711 and have only file transfer ability and there is no remote control bar , how can i solve this??

  • Adriaan

    It seem like there is some knowledgeable people here so I have to ask, If I buy a Sony z1 Ultra, will I be able to view and manipulate my PC remotely using Teamviewer?