14 iPad Apps to Remotely Control Your Work Computer

With the new iPad 2 (s aapl) on the way, many teams may be considering whether iPads can replace laptops as productivity tools for remote workers.

Right out of the box, the iPad includes email, contact, notes and calendar apps that will be more than adequate for many workers. If your team is already collaborating in the cloud, there are iPad apps for just about every cloud service, including WWD favorites such as Google Apps, Dropbox, Egnyte, Evernote, Simplenote, Toodledo, and SugarSync. And connections to Apple’s own MobileMe sync service are built into iOS.

As Darrell wrote recently, there are a number of useful productivity apps that make the iPad surprisingly useful. I’m not saying that an iPad can replace a fully-equipped laptop, but with a foldable Bluetooth keyboard, it can be a lightweight way to get a little work done in a pinch, especially as you can use one of the many remote control and screen sharing apps available for the iPad to remotely access and control an office computer. Here are a few options.

Proprietary Solutions

These apps connect to proprietary client software running on the computer in your office, and generally have the advantage that they can operate through firewalls and tend to be easy to set up.

VNC and RDP Solutions

These solutions require a VNC or RDP server to be running on your office computer. As I recently wrote, there are a number of VNC server options available. Macs have VNC capabilities built in, and some editions of Windows (s msft)Windows XP Professional, Vista, and Windows 7 come with RDP. Both VNC and RDP require configuring firewall rules and ports, which can be tricky.

Do you use an iPad for teamwork? How do you connect to your office?