Control Your PC With Your Phone (Part 1)

10/15/2012 2:32:03 PM

Administer a media centre PC from the comfort of your sofa using your Android phone

If you take home entertainment seriously, the likelihood is that a PC will already be at the heart of your living room. A few years back, it was the only route to high-definition utopia, and it’s still a great way to watch on-demand TV if you don’t have a console or expensive TV package.

If this sounds like your home, then this is an essential guide. We show you how to control your living room PC using your Android handset, and what’s more, it only takes five minutes.

Description: Control Your PC With Your Phone

Unfortunately, no matter how good you make your media computer and modern systems can be very good indeed, enabling you to watch, record and play back TV in perfect silence – there’s often one weak point in do-it-yourself home media networking that is sure to bring the rest of the house toppling down.

The weak link in question is the remote control. Many of us use a keyboard and mouse, or some kind of cobbled-together version of the two to control a media PC from a distance. Neither option is particularly good losing the mouse or the keyboard running out of battery, is commonplace. You could purchase a third, more expensive option in the form of a media centre remote, but this isn’t the best method.

Software options

So what are you left with? Well, there’s a solution, and you probably already own it: a smartphone. Not just any smartphone though – the mobile of choice for this kind of work comes from the hands of the smiling green bug of Android, allied to a little application called Gmote that gives you complete control of your media PC.

If you’ve never used it before, then you’re in for a rare threat – Gmote is an eye-opener to the world of Android. When such a simple app can work so harmoniously with the devices it’s connected to, you start to wonder what else your smartphone is capable of.

As well as being a great way of controlling the media on your PC for playback on a big screen TV, you can also use Gmote to stream media from your PC to your phone or tablet. Here’s how to install the app on your device as well as the software needed on your computer.

1.    Get the app

Get an app

Gmote 2.0 is available on Google Play, so download and install it. The first time you open the app, it will inform you that you need to install the Gmote server on your computer by downloading it from the website. You can get Gmote to email you the link, or alternatively just go to and select the right installer for your PC.

2.    Allow it access

Allow it access

Now that you’ve installed Gmote on your Android phone and PC, allow the program access to the internet. Create a password for connecting to the Gmote server through your Android phone, then select the location of the media files on your hard drive. Click on ‘Add path’, then simply choose the folder (or folders) that you want to share with the phone.

3.    Never too late

Never too late

If, at a later date, you change your mind and decide to create a more secure password for your smartphone’s access or wish to add more folders to share, or even remove those folders that you’ve linked to previously, all you need to do is right-click the Gmote icon in your taskbar tray and select the appropriate link from the Settings menu.

4.    Start Android

Start Android

Once your PC is ready for action, it’s time to get your Android device into gear. Go back to Gmote and tap the button on the screen to let the application know that you have Gmote installed on your machine now. The name of your PC should show up on the screen, so option below it to enter your computer’s IP address manually.

5.    Enter the password

Enter the password

You’ll now see the remote control layout on your Android device’s screen, complete with media playback controls and more. Tap any of the buttons on the screen and it’ll ask you to enter the password you used earlier when setting up Gmote on your PC. Once that’s done, it’ll connect to your computer – you’ve just got yourself a remote Android control.

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