LogMeIn for Android: Get the Free Beta

Last Updated May 7, 2010 2:37 PM EDT

Call it the trickle-down effect: every good iPhone app comes to Android eventually. The latest arrival: LogMeIn Ignition, the thoroughly awesome app that provides remote access to your PC from your phone.

Though it might sound crazy to try navigating your desktop on a 3.5-inch screen, true me when I say: it works. Not for everything, of course -- don't plan on banging out a dissertation in Word or anything -- but if you just need to retrieve a file, peek at a spreadsheet, forward an e-mail, or even shut down your PC, remote-access software like this can't be beat.

Indeed, I use the iPhone version more often than I ever thought I would. All the tools I need are there: right-click, a pop-up keyboard, shortcuts for key commands like Alt-Tab, and so on. Coolest feature by far? Shaking the phone switches the display between your two monitors (if you have two, that is).

The Android version, currently in beta, is available for download from the Android Market. It's free for now, but it'll probably end up costing $30 like its iPhone cousin. What remains to be seen is if any freebies emerge to challenge it. (If you know of any that are already available, by all means shout 'em out in the comments.)

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.