Using a mouse and keyboard with remote PC software on Android

android keyboard mouse splashtop - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Unlike iOS, Android supports mice in addition to the more common keyboard support. That’s not overly useful when the tablet is used on its own, but when you hook it all up and get a remote computer connection going, you really have something. The Transformer series of tablets from Asus has both of these things built into the dock, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add it to other tablets as well.

Both Bluetooth and USB mice and keyboards should work fine on Android. In the image above, I’m using a keyboard over USB and mouse via Bluetooth. If you have the ability to use the root-only Honeybar to hide that annoying notification bar you can also run software like Splashtop with a forced PC resolution equal to the tablet resolution, as both 1280 x 800 and 1024 x 600 (to some degree) is supported in Windows, though that notification bar stops 1:1 pixel ratio and full screen if you don’t hide it.

So with all of that hooked up and a fast enough (local, if possible) connection, you’re all set to use your Android setup like a true Windows computer. Some things are still not the same though, as mouse input on Android is translated to touch input which is then translated back in the app, but still this is very close. Unfortunately (for me), the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus can’t use the HD version of Splashtop, so it isn’t as fast as the iPad version, but that shouldn’t be an issue with bigger tablets with other chipsets. So, if you have an Android tablet and always wondered how it would be like to truly run Windows on it, grab a mouse and a keyboard and get to it.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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