Developer: StarNet Communications Corp.
Price: $14.99 Download on the App Store
StarNet Communications has come up with a straightforward method for those who want to use an iPad to stay connected to a remote desktop. Use the iLIVEx app to connect to and display a Linux desktop or to work on an individual X11 application.
In comparison to most of the App Store, iLIVEx is at the BMW price level: the two versions are $14.99 and $24.99. For personal use these are the only costs you would incur as each copy of iLIVEx includes a free account on a StarNet Linux server to host applications such as FireFox and OpenOffice. However, there are additional costs associated with the company's other products.
The remote connection solutions offered through iLIVEx are not for the tech novice: if you are not comfortable tweaking network configurations or a Linux-based operating system then this probably isn't the app for you. With that being said, StarNet Communications offers a comprehensive set of tutorial videos. Those with the patience to manipulate a few settings and learn some new technical skills should be able to configure the setup properly.
The higher-priced Pro version includes additional features that may be valuable to corporate users. iLIVEx Pro users can connect an iPad to a projector or digital TV with VGA support (something that is not a native iPad feature). Pro users can also collaborate with other iPads and desktop users through a sharing option or create and run multiple concurrent sessions on the remote host.
Those who do not need the additional advanced features will probably do just as well with the standard version.
Not surprisingly, navigating the remote desktop is not as smooth as the native iPad interface. Linux has a bare bones, minimalistic design that is challenging to navigate with a finger. If your main goal is to use presentation files, it may be less challenging to simply sync or transfer files directly to the iPad instead of using a remote desktop.
For the business crowd that want something like iLIVEx, this app is a good option for remote computing. For consumers who only want occasional remote access to their desktop, there are less expensive options to be found.
Looking for more options? Check out our complete round-up of the best remote desktop apps for the iPhone and iPad.