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The best remote desktop tools for Android

Have you ever needed to grab a file from your computer, but you're away from home? Maybe you want to play simple PC games on your phone, or use Windows-only software on your Chromebook. Whatever you want to do, remote desktop applications allow you to connect to your computer from a phone, a tablet, or another computer.

Here, we'll go over the best options for remotely connecting to a computer from an Android device, or a Chromebook with support for Android applications.

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VNC Viewer for Android adds support for VNC Connect in the latest update

Here's an update that really should have happened a bit sooner. VNC Viewer is the official VNC client from RealVNC, the company that makes and maintains the Virtual Network Client protocol for remote computer access. Said company also makes VNC Connect, which is actually the latest version of the premium server/client program for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other operating systems. Version 6.0 was rebranded earlier this month, and today the Android app is compatible with the updated software. It only took almost four weeks... which isn't great for a mission critical program.

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VNC Viewer for Android updated with Bluetooth mouse support and horizontal scrolling

Virtual Network Computing, better known as VNC, remains one of the most popular ways around to access remote computers. VNC Viewer, the official remote access app for Android from the developers of Real VNC, gets a substantial update today. The biggest improvement is the addition of support for Bluetooth mice and trackpads. Of course you could use them with the app before, but now the Viewer app will specifically interpret them to directly control the cursor of the remote machine instead of simply emulating local touches. It should also work with other connected peripherals, whether wireless or wired.

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VNC Viewer 2.0 (From RealVNC) Remotes Into The Play Store With Material Design, Immersive Fullscreen, And More

Running remote desktop software from an Android device has a different purpose than doing the same from a traditional PC. When you're connecting from a laptop, you're probably accessing an application at home or work that only exists on that one machine. But on Android, you have the option to greatly expand what your phone or tablet can do.

In a way, it feels like cheating.

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RealVNC's VNC Viewer Drops From $9.99 To Free (Forever) In Google Play

You can't spend all day sitting at the computer, but sometimes remote access is almost as good. VNC Viewer from Real VNC is a way for you to connect to a computer through any number of VNC clients, and it's pretty popular. However, it used to be a $10 app. Put your wallet away – it's free now.

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The app dropped to $0.99 early today, then to free. As we all know, when an app is made free in Google Play, it cannot be made into a paid app again. The app itself hasn't been updated, so no in-app purchases have been snuck in.

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TeamViewer For Android Updated With Native Touch Control For Tablets, Windows 8 Gesture Support, And More

The highly popular VNC tool TeamViewer has updated its Android viewer client with a slew of new features, including one users have likely been clamoring for from day one: native touch control.

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The latest version of TeamViewer for Android now supports a brand-new input method for tablets - direct touch gestures. No more moving the cursor around to get the job done, just tap and drag to your heart's content, pointer-free. In addition, Windows 8 support has been enhanced, and now allows for the use of Windows 8's native OS gestures - making navigating your PC from your tablet even easier.

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RealVNC's VNC Viewer App Is On Sale At Half-Price - $4.99

I know, I know - there are tons of VNC viewer apps on the Play Store. Some of the good ones are even free. But if you use RealVNC, and you (or your workplace) demand an encrypted connection for remote access, this is the only app we're aware of that will allow you to connect from your Android device. RealVNC is highly popular, so we thought we'd point out this deal, which saves you five bucks over the ten it would otherwise run you.

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It's also a pretty great VNC viewer all-around, and has managed to rack up a 4.6 star rating with over 1200 reviews on the Play Store - no small feat for any app.

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