Saturday, October 23, 2010

iTeleport VNC client for iPad

I mentioned the last time that I was intent on trying to VNC to Haiku (on Dell E520) from my iPad. Although when using the Mocha Lite client I can connect to Haiku (running VNCServer-4.0-BeOS-AGMS-1.21) but I cannot launch or open anything simply because no amount of tapping on the iPad touchscreen can simulate a mouseclick.
I posted to the Haiku forum about this, and how slow the Haiku VNCServer seemed when I connected to it from the native Mac Snow Leopard client. But two days later and still no reply which probably implies that there's not too much VNC experience with Haiku out there.
Incidentally, at the time of the previous post, I had been using the newer VNCServer-Haiku-4.0-AGMS-1.21 which didn't work on Haiku R1A2 as it had been compiled on a later nightly. However, I found that VNCServer-BeOS-4.0-AGMS-1.21 works fine on R1A2 and doesn't seem to me to be any way different in performance to the newer server.
Anyway, given that there were no other VNCServers to try for Haiku, I needed to change my client on the iPad. iTeleport (Jaadu VNC) has a good reputation although it's not cheap at €20.
In any event I bought it.
First I tried it to connect to my Mac and later to Windows 7 on the Dell E520. I have to say that the experience was stunning. I can now do essentially everything in Snow Leopard and in W7 almost as if they were directly installed on my iPad. There's almost no delay between stuff happening on the server screen and on the client (in general, although I have noticed some longer delays at times). Particularly when TouchScreen Mode is used (the default mode uses a mouse pointer which you can move with your finger and simulate a click with a tap on the screen). I suppose the only disappointing thing is that sound still only emerges from the servers speakers and not on the iPad but that's normal for VNC.
So I was very happy with this. And what about Haiku?
Well, it's very much better than with the Mocha Lite client in that I can now open and launch apps and files/folders. However, there is still and enormous delay, in comparison to how Snow Leopard and Windows 7 perform, of the order of 5-7 seconds. So comfortable desktop control of Haiku from the iPad is not available. However, if my life depended on getting something done in Haiku when only my iPad was available, I would be quite confident that I would survive the day.
Also disappointing when VNC'ing to Haiku is that TouchScreen Mode doesn't work with Haiku.
A lot better than nothing, for sure but at this stage it looks like the VNCServer for Haiku is deficient probably because it was written I imagine at least a decade ago.

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