Since learning to trust my iPad Pro to do more of the tasks my Mac usually handles, Screens VNC has been a critical piece of the equation. iPads can be just as powerful as Macs on paper and also do things Macs never could, but iOS still has software limitations that make OS X a requirement for me. I’ve been using Screens to bridge that gap for practical reasons or just conveniently remote into my Mac using a really sleek and reliable interface, and today Edovia is releasing a brand new version called Screens 4 that packs in several improvements including some new features.
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First off, Screens 4 handles Apple’s Smart Keyboard and any other hardware keyboard much better now. Screens 3 required tapping through a keyboard toggle a couple of times to activate the hardware keyboard, which was a bit finicky, but Screens 4 works perfectly with hardware keyboards including the iPad Pro’s keyboard cover.
Screens 4 also has a tweaked UI with a darker theme that looks nice and a redesigned menu for finding important actions. It’s now much easier to switch between trackpad mode and touch mode as well as move between observe mode and actually controlling your computer on the other end. Also included is better support for passwords with a one-tap button for sending them through, including better 1Password integration within Screens.
Curtain mode is one of the big new features of Screens 4. This lets you easily “lock” what’s shown on your display for the machine you’re remotely accessing while letting you see everything on your iPhone or iPad. You can easily jump into or out of this mode with a tap of the curtain icon in the redesigned menu next to the tool bar.
For iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users, Screens 4 includes 3D Touch support including Quick Actions from the Home screen icon, and Peek and Pop gestures within the app. There’s also Spotlight search support now; this allows me to search ‘Zac’s Mac mini’ from the Home screen, then jump right into my Mac.
If you manage multiple machines remotely, you can now group your tiles into iOS style folders from the Screens launch page too. And Edovia says Screens 4 “fully supports the RFC 2396 specification” URL schemes, which helps connect Screens to other apps by other developers.
Screens is a very important app for making my iPad Pro much more flexible without carrying a Mac around all the time too. The app also has iOS 9 multitasking on new iPads, including Split View and Slide Over, and there’s optional Touch ID support to access your machines each time. You can try free solutions that have little to no support for modern iOS features, or make the investment in Screens if you have a need to remote into Macs or PCs from your iPhone or iPad. I highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a solution to remote into your Macs.
Screens 4 for iOS is a free update for Screens 3 customers; new users can pick up the app for both iPhone and iPad one $19.99 purchase from the App Store.