Over on WorldCAD Access, I wrote yesterday why TeamViewer is better than Dropbox for accessing files, especially when the amount of data on a desktop computer exceeds Dropbox limits and/or makes Dropbox unaffordable.
TeamViewer is meant for seeing and controlling the desktops of other computers remotely. I've been trying out other software that extends the desktop to Android tablets, and here is a summary of my experience.
Splashtop 2 is similar to, but simpler than, TeamViewer. It is meant more for viewing media on Android tablets, streamed from a desktop computer over WiFi or Internet to the tablet. I have used it to watch movies or news videos on my Android. Like TeamViewer, it can be used for viewing and editing files, even running CAD software remotely.
It is different from TeamViewer because it resizes the resolution of the desktop computer to match the resolution of the tablet. (The resolution of my ASUS Transformer TF101 is 1280x800.) This can make it easier to navigate the distant UI. By contrast, TeamViewer either squeezes the full desktop resolution to the tablet (making it hard to read) or else matches the pixels, meaning I have to pan the view around.
I found a drawback to this resizing the desktop screen: sometimes, I found it hard to get the desktop to return to its normal resolution, 2048x1152 for my main monitor.
Splashtop 2 runs on the Android (or iPad), while a second program, Streamer, runs on the Windows or Mac desktop. Both are free, if you stream only on the local network in the home or office. If you want to use the app across networks (say access your home computer from a hotel room), then you have to pay a $10 monthly fee for the Anywhere Access Pack, a turn-off for me. I don't mind paying once, but not over and over again. So, I use TeamViewer for remote access.
Bonus Tip: If Splashtop works once, but then not after this, then you need to set up an exception for it in the firewall software.
iDisplay sounded cool to me at first. It would turn my tablet into a second screen for my desktop or laptop computer. The desktop mouse and keyboard work on the tablet's screen, just like a second desktop screen.
Like Splashtop, I installed software on my Android tablet and on the desktop computer. I connected the Android to the desktop via a USB cable, and then started the software on both systems.
It works, but it is a fail. I found that cursor movement was so slow as to be unusable. Worse, when I shut it down, it locked up my computer. I wonder if it would work better with USB 3 at both ends.
The software is free from www.getidisplay.com. Also available for iPad and Mac.
Bonus Tip: Most computers have graphics boards that can output to two monitors. If you need a third monitor (as I sometimes do when I writing my books), the best solution is to get a DisplayLink adapter for about $50. It gets plugged into any free USB port on the computer, and the other end is attached to a spare monitor. After the device driver is installed, the extra monitor is seen by Windows as just another monitor.
The one I happened to buy is HP's USB Graphics Adapter; it works even when the monitor is at the end of a 25' DVI cable, as it is in my case.