Logitech's Touch Mouse for iPod Touch or iPhone

Feb 22 2010

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Logitech Touch Mouse

At this point you have seen a number of different apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch designed to let you control your PC. Logitech has recently released their Touch Mouse app designed to do the same but at an impressive price--free. So what is the catch? Logitech already has established themselves with some wonderful hardware touch devices, so how will their first software app doing so match up to other similar yet more expensive items? The answer may surprise you.            

 

Using the Software

When I heard that Logitech had released a new app for the iPhone/iPod Touch designed to let you control your PC via the device I immediately thought, why do we need another iPod controlling software?! But my friend Greg S. gave a glowing review of the app and insisted I give it a try. I was skeptical but having reviewed the DiNovo Mini also from Logitech, and the GlideTV Navigator , I was very curious to see how it would match up to those dedicated controlling devices. The idea is simple--use the touch screen on your iPhone/iPod Touch as a wireless control device for your computer. So how would this software offering on a totally different platform handle the challenge?

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 Vertical Touchpad
 With on-screen keyboard

Surprisingly well! Installation was pleasantly simple. You do have to install the Logitech Touch Mouse Server software on your PC first, but at just over 2mb that is a minor request. The next and final step to installing is to download the software via the iTunes App Store, which can be done either via your computer or directly on your Apple device. You now are installed and ready to go.

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 Horizontal keyboard
 Horizontal Touchpad

For users who have multiple media centers, you will love how simple it is to switch from controlling each one. I utilized this a lot since I have my Media Center system but also installed the software on my laptop; with the Touch Mouse I could easily jump from controlling either one without having to leave the sofa.

Here's a video of the software in action:

You can see the mouse is very accurate and easy to control. Initially the control was extremely sensitive, but nothing a quick adjustment in the settings page could not fix. After adjusting accordingly to my needs, I found the mouse accuracy to be comparable to that of either the GlideTV Navigator or the Logitech DiNovo Mini--high praise indeed given the wonderful experience I had with both.

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 Page 1 of Config Options
 Second page

For regular users of the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, you will probably even find the keyboard easier to use than that of the DiNovo with the small keys, and certainly easier than the GlideTV's mouse controlled keyboard. Navigating web pages is a breeze as well by utilizing the two finger technique. Simply slide two fingers up and down and the touchpad functions as a scrollbar making navigation of long web pages much simpler.

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 Select from Servers List

The app supports (it seems) as many servers as your heart desires. Jumping from one server to another is a breeze as you literally just click on the server name you are wanting to control.

 

Conclusion

Overall, I cannot say enough nice things about this product, especially given the amazing price of FREE. If you do not have an iPhone, you can always do what I did and use an iPod Touch since the behavior is the same. What I would love to see is for Logitech to continue to evolve this product and add a Media Center control at the bottom which would allow for easier navigation of your collection. I was not looking for a remote replacement, and this is certainly not challenging my Harmony 890 any time soon given how wonderfully it works. But what it did do--quite surprisingly--is challenge my regular use of the Logitech DiNovo Mini, arguably the best touch device for an HTPC I had ever used.

The Touch Mouse from Logitech is convenient if your iPhone or iTouch is nearby you, where I often keep the DiNovo tucked away, and it fits seamless into your coffee table. Best of all, you can still have your apps on it and let people play with your games while you get to watch the shows you just selected.

Pros:

  • Price (FREE!)
  • Two-Finger Scroll
  • Very accurate mouse control
  • Easy and familiar iPhone Keyboard

Cons:

  • No Function Keys 
  • No Media Center buttons
  • No Arrow Controls
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