There’s no shortage of system monitoring apps for Android, ranging from tiny one-glance widgets to deep-dive apps that offer incredible detail. To keep an eye on your phone’s performance and status, we found Elixir 2 is the best tool for the job. If you want to examine a remote PC from an Android phone, PC Monitor is the best way to do it.
- Offers detailed information about an Android device’s hardware, including battery status and remaining charge cycles, wireless networking (3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) hardware and status, used and available internal and SD storage, CPU and memory utilisation, system settings and other hardware components
- Allows users to change system settings (brightness, timeout, volume, ringer, networking, etc), enable or disable hardware sensors and manage installed applications from the information screen inside the app
- Offers home screen widgets that can be customised to fit on any home screen and provide direct access to often-used system settings or simply display system performance and resource utilisation
- Offers optional personal and admin add-on applications that manage contacts, missed calls, SMS messages, and admin-level tasks for users who are willing to grant additional permissions.
- Allows you to remotely monitor system status and performance of multiple remote computers, including CPU utilisation, memory allocation and utilisation, usage history and uptime
- Provides ping and response time from phone to remote system
- Offers access to system services, network and interface status, running processes and logged-in users.
- Allows you to browse hard drives and the file system, event logs, system reports and hardware details
- Sends start/stop/pause commands to system services, logs off users, kills process, supports command prompts on remote systems, allows you to manage users (enable/disable/reset passwords) in Active Directory
- Allows you to update the system via Windows update, manage Exchange servers and manage virtual systems in Hyper-V
- Sends alerts when a remote computer goes down, starts up, has a low battery, or when services stop unexpectedly, users log in or out, and more, including custom alerts
- Encrypts monitoring traffic between the phone and the remote system
Elixir may be overkill for some people who want a system monitor, or a tool to keep an eye on their storage or running processes, but it’s the sheer amount of information that Elixir collects and presents to you that makes it the best. Plus, because Elixir allows you to manage and change so many system options in the same application, you can’t go wrong. Elixir gives you one place to go to learn everything you could possibly want to know about an Android device, and then tweak everything from sensor settings to installed applications, all in one app.
PC Monitor gives you a comprehensive monitoring suite to connect to and examine remote computers from your Android device. If you manage a Windows or Linux home server (or a few servers in a small enterprise setting,) and need to be able to tunnel into them even when you’re away from your desk, PC Monitor gives you quick access to it from your Android phone. It even allows you to manage virtual devices, and control virtually every aspect of your remote system.
Elixir’s real drawback is that it’s fairly resource intensive by itself. The app launches when your Android phone boots up, and because it touches virtually every aspect of your device, it requires some serious permissions. PC Monitor, on the other hand, is really only limited in the fact that it doesn’t support Mac OS in addition to Windows and Linux.
When it comes to managing an Android device locally, you have plenty of options. If you don’t want something as heavy (or as robust) as Elixir, you can try previously mentioned MiniInfo, another system manager that can tell you all about your system at a single glance, and has some attractive widgets to boot. It doesn’t do as deep a dive as Elixir does, but if you’re concerned with the basics like storage, battery and CPU/memory utilisation, it’s a good option.
OS Monitor and Advanced System Monitor Pro are all about running processes, network connectivity and traffic, and resource utilisation. If you’d like to see how an app, service or activity influences your system, they’re both good tools, but they’re targeted for benchmarkers and system testers, not monitoring. They’re weak on widgets and reporting utilities, so you’ll have to keep an eye on it manually. Perfect System Monitor, while not so perfect, does give you a good home-screen widget that displays basic system information and uptime with little configuration. It doesn’t display hardware info, and it doesn’t let you manage your phone, but it does display a bit more information than MiniInfo, albeit uglier. These apps just scratch the surface of the wealth of system monitoring utilities for Android: if none of them catch your fancy, there’s likely another one just a tap away.
As for remote system management, PC Monitor is just about it. There aren’t a ton of remote management applications that allow Android devices to remotely manage other systems. There are plenty of apps that serve as RDP or VNC clients, or that turn your phone into a remote control or remote viewer for your computer, but not too many that let you monitor one.
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