Monday, October 10, 2011

A Look at LogMeIn Ignition and the NEW File Transfer Feature

LogMeIn Ignition artworkLogMeIn Ignition
LogMeIn, Inc. 
Genre: Productivity
Price: $29.99
Release Date: December 16, 2008

LogMeIn Ignition is the most expensive app I ever purchased for my iPad, but it is still one of the most useful and favorite apps I use.  If you are not familiar with LogMeIn Ignition here is a brief description from the App Store:
"Remotely control your PC or Mac, plus view, transfer and save files or folders – all with a single app on your iPad or iPhone. Ignition is a one-time purchase that runs on both your iPad and iPhone and works with LogMeIn’s award-winning free software. Install LogMeIn for FREE on an unlimited number of remote computers to access from your iPad and iPhone. With your files, applications and desktops right at your fingertips, you’re finally free to go."
The main feature or use of LogMeIn Ignition is the ability to Remotely Control other computers over the Internet in conjunction with the LogMeIn Free PC software.  Recently LogMeIn updated the iPad app to include a very powerful File Transfer function which makes this great app even better.  I want to take some time now to show you what these new features look like and explain why you should love it to.  

Windows users spend a lot of time using Windows Explorer to manage files and folders.  It is something we have become accustom to and truly miss having on the iPad and iPhone.  this is probably why I like LogMeIn Ignition's new file transfer feature so much.  You see, in addition to actually connecting and taking control over a remote PC, the app now provides a way to work with files and folders on a remote PC using a more familiar "Explorer" type interface.  
The latest version of LogMeIn Ignition has a slightly modified "My Computers" screen.  When you select a computer to control from your list, 3 button options are presented to you.  Use the button indicated by the arrow in the screenshot to launch the File Transfer function.

The screen shot above is the main File Transfer interface screen.  From here you can browse all of the drives you have on that computer.  You can even work with mapped network drives on the computer you are connected to.  Touching the arrows to the right will drill down to the next level in the folder. When you find a file you want to work with the row of buttons on the bottom will become active.  The buttons allow you to:  OPEN, COPY, MOVE, UPDATE, RENAME, DELETE, AND EMAIL.

When you select an action like COPY the interface changes to show the file or files in this little bubble like the in the screenshot above.  That is the best way I can describe it.  It is visually showing you that you have these files held together and are awaiting a destination.  From here app pulls back and shows you places you can send the files.  ZOTAC-MAG is the name of my Windows PC that I copied the files from.  LOCAL FILES is the iPad 2 I am using at the moment.  So, in this example I am going to copy the file from my Windows PC (ZOTAC-MAG) to my iPad local files.  
When you settle on a destination your "bubble" with your files now has a new highlighted action called "Drop Here".  If you touch the "Drop Here" action that will copy the files form the source to the destination.  In this case I just copied a file form my Windows Computer to my iPad.  The app will give you a nice confirmation message like the one below.

If the file or files are large in size it may take some time to transfer depending on your network connection.  LogMeIn Ignition also provides a nice way to monitor that transfer.  The transfer icon should show up in the upper right-hand corner of the app.  If you tap that icon you can see the details of your transfer and even kill it before it is done.

As you can see from this brief walk-though, LogMeIn Ignition's File Transfer function can be very useful and gives you a little of that Windows Explorer-like control over your files for iPad and iPhone.  Which is something Apple doesn't seem to focus on.  I am still a big fan of file sync apps like DropBox but you are limited to what you can sync on the remote PC to certain selected folders.  LogMeIn allows you access to the entire folder structure of the remote PC including mapped drives and optical drive.  That can be a pretty huge feature depending on your situation.  At $29, I still believe this is a good value.  The few times I had a question, the support at LogMeIn was great.  If you have any questions for me, please use the comment system below and I will do my best to answer.