LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile review
LogMeIn is well known for its remote support system for desktops. Adding remote support for mobile phones to this may seem a little strange, but smartphones are becoming a vital part of a mobile worker’s armoury. They can even take over from a laptop at a pinch. So providing remote support for them is just as logical a next step as providing support for laptops once was.
Once you’ve set up your account on LogMeIn’s servers you’re ready to provide support for your smartphone users. Their smartphones need to have the LogMeIn applet installed before support can take place. Although you’d probably pre-install this to save time and money it can also be downloaded and installed using SMS. The support technician simply needs a valid account and a suitable web browser to carry out the support role; all the serious work is carried out on LogMeIn’s own servers and the smartphone itself.
If you have one of the supported smartphones the support technician will be presented with a complete simulation of the device, including screen and keypad. If you have another smartphone running Windows Mobile 5 or 6 the technician will only see a simulation of the screen display, although the various hot key combinations will still work. Palm Treo 700w/wx, Palm Treo 750 (GSM version), Moto Q, Moto Q9 and Samsung BlackJack devices are fully emulated, while other devices will only have only the screen display and hot-key facilities.
The technician can also access a wealth of useful technical information from the smartphone, including details such as operating system version number, type of processor, battery state and storage usage, as well as details of processes and services. The console maintains a log of all communications between the user and the technician.
The technician can take full control of the device or simply sit back and watch what the user does. Apart from troubleshooting and fixing problems in the field, the software can also be used to train users by remote control. Although you’d normally want to provide training in a local environment, there could be times when this isn’t possible, perhaps when an application has been upgraded remotely and the user needs to be familiarised with some new features in a hurry.
Security is vital with these applications. The last thing users want is to have a piece of remote control software installed on their phone that can be used by a hacker. Encryption ensures that only authorised support staff can use the remote software, and a support session can only take place if the mobile user starts it
The mobile phone support function can operate in standalone mode or it can be integrated with an existing LogMeIn support setup. All support session details are logged and can be reported and analysed by technician and support session.
Supporting smartphone users in this way isn’t cheap and a prolonged support session without a data plan can rack up the costs, but there’s no real alternative to this if you need to provide remote support to staff in the field. Although a service you’d only want to use sparingly, its ability to reach the user almost anywhere makes it an invaluable standby.