Image: Michael Hession
No matter what OS your smartphone is on, there's a mobile app that can make it happen. Here's a look at some of the best tools for every major platform.
TeamViewer is everything a remote access app should be — simple to set up, easy to use, and free for non-commercial use. Install the client software and you can use a short numerical code and password to gain access to your PC/Mac from your Android phone. You can transfer files between computer and mobile too, and the app works over 3G and 4G as well as Wi-Fi.
Apple offers its own Remote app for controlling just about everything in iTunes — movies, music, search — from your iPhone. It's free to install and easy to set up to work with a PC or Mac.
The lack of apps available for Windows Phone is part of the reason the platform is struggling to break the dominance of iOS/Android, so it's no surprise that there are fewer choices here. There is PC Remote, one of the best tools for taking control of your computer — as long as it's also running Windows. A $US2.99 Pro version is also available with a few extra features and no advertisements. At $US9.99, ConnectMe is another option — it uses Windows' built-in remote desktop capabilities, so doesn't need any client software installed on your PC. But it won't work with the cheaper Home editions of the operating system.
Over on BlackBerry, your choices are even more limited. (But it can be done.) One of the few apps with remote desktop capabilities is RDM+, which will set you back a not-insignificant $US39.99. However, it does give you a pile of features for connecting to your PC or Mac computer. Check the listing to make sure it's compatible with your device.
Have you got a favourite app we haven't covered here?
David Nield is a UK-based journalist. Follow him at @davidnield on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Gizmodo.