How to Remotely Access your Mac using your Android device

This tutorial will take you step by step through the process of setting up your Mac and Android phone (or tablet) so that you can control your Mac using your Android device – from anywhere.

This tutorial uses the same software (although obviously the OS X version) that the Windows version of this tutorial uses.

Which also means the same caveats apply – the software used in this tutorial is not free. It (Splashtop Desktop HD) costs $8.99 from the Android Play Store. I have installed and tested 7 different ‘remote control’ Android Apps, and this one is by far the best. It’s much faster, is more intuitive, and less prone to crashing than all of its peers. It works wonderfully on my Droid X (Android phone) and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Android tablet). And as I mentioned above – this software works on Windows as well. You only need to purchase the Android App once, and you can use it to connect to all of your Mac’s and PC’s.

If you still want to continue, head over to the Google Play Store and download Splashtop to your Android device (or search the Play Store for “Splashtop HD” directly from your device). Once the installation has completed, hold off on opening it.

  1. On your Mac, visit the Splashtop Streamer download page and download Splashtop Streamer. This is the software that will run on your Mac, allowing your Android phone/tablet to connect to it. Once the download has completed, open the .dmg and run the installation file .
  2. You’ll go through the familiar process of clicking “Next” and entering your password a few times. Once the installation has completed, launch Splashtop Streamer from your Applications list.
  3. Once Splashtop Streamer opens, it should go straight to the SECURITY tab. If it doesn’t – select it.

    From here you’ll need to create a security code specific to Splashtop so that you can connect to your Mac from your Android device. The security code must be at least 8 characters long and contain at least one letter and one number. Enter it in both of the provided fields.

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  5. Now select the NETWORK tab from the top of the Streamer window.

    In order for you to connect to your Mac from outside of your own home network, Splashtop uses Google to allow your Mac and Android device to ‘locate’ each other. It’s not the only way to allow Android to connect to your Mac outside of your home network, but it’s certainly the easiest. Enter your Gmail/Google credentials in the spaces provided, and click the Sign in button.

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  7. Make sure that Streamer displays a message ensuring that you’re now signed in to Google. As indicated in the screenshot below, the message should be displayed directly to the ‘above’ the Sign out button.

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  9. You have now completed setting up the Streamer client on your Mac. Grab your Android device and open Splashtop HD from your Apps list.
  10. Tap Go.

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  12. Enter the Security Code you created back in step #3, and tap Continue.

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  14. Tap Finish.

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  16. Review the End User License Agreement, and then tap Agree.

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  18. Now you’ll be presented with the main Splashtop HD ‘connection’ screen.

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  20. Tap the Options icon in the upper-right corner of the screen (as pictured in the screenshot below) and then select Settings from the menu.
  21. From the Settings window, tap Internet discovery.
  22. Enter the exact same Gmail/Google credentials that you did back in step #4 when you were setting up the Streamer program on your Mac. Tap Sign in.

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  24. If your Mac doesn’t show up on the connection screen immediately, tap the Refresh button in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  25. Now your Mac will show up. Tap it…
  26. … and you’ll be prompted to enter your security code. Do so, then tap OK.

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  28. Carefully review the Hints screen – they explain how to navigate your way through your Mac/OS X via Splashtop HD (Android). You may even want to leave the Show hints every time option selected, until you ‘master’ controlling OS X via Android. Tap Continue.

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  30. Finally – your Mac’s desktop will be displayed right on your Android phone/tablet. You can completely control your Mac now. As you use Splashtop more and more, you’ll become accustom to the mouse gestures and extra ‘buttons’ that allow you to control your Mac via Splashtop HD

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  32. Among many other possibilities – you can stream music from iTunes on your Mac to your Android device.

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  34. Streaming video from your Mac to your Android device is also possible. I’ve found that it isn’t particularly watchable over 3G, but certainly acceptable over WiFi – particularly when both your Android and Mac are on the same network.

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  36. Worth mentioning: I have read on several forums and even the in the Splashtop Help documentation that some people may need to set up port forwarding on their routers when connecting to your Mac from outside of your home network. The web site Port Forward has fantastic and easy to follow instructions for nearly every modern router, and the ports you would need to forward are: 6783, 6784, and 6785. I have yet to require enabling port forwarding on my AirPort router running the latest firmware.

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