iPhone App: Snatch
= 4 stars
Control your Mac using this iPhone track pad / remote simulator.
- The touch screen trackpad has both left and right click buttons (and an option for three), double-tap to initiate a tap-and-drag, and multi touch – swipe with two fingers to scroll. Tap and hold on the “Keys” button in the lower menu bar to bring up an on-screen keyboard.
- A “scrolling” trackpad lets you swipe up and down to scroll up and down, and pinch with two fingers to resize a window. You can also activate “circular scrolling” that simulates an iPod click wheel.
- The “Launch Pad” contains up an app launcher where you can load up your favorite apps. Currently running apps are listed with white text, with the currently “forward” app in green. Quit any app by tapping the “x” icon at right.
- The app requires a helper app called Snatch Server to be running on your Mac. Setup was so easy, I can’t recall how I did it. Snatch Server works with both Mac and Windows.
- You can create your own remote layout using a remote control editor where you drag buttons and assign shortcuts, using a “record” feature. Actually, with AppleScript support, one could create a remote to for all sorts of things on your Mac besides just launching and controlling multimedia entertainment apps.
- Has support for user-created, custom remotes. Enterprising users have already made ones for Hulu, Plex, iTunes, Safari, VLC, Gmail, Google Reader, and even Adobe CS 3 apps. Below is a snazzy iTunes remote:
- Save for some of the custom remotes, the overall interface doesn’t look as polished as AirMouse or other iPhone remote apps (stay tuned).
- “Quirky.” Don’t like the tap-and-hold on the keys icon to bring up the on-screen keyboard – wish it were more easily accessible from the trackpad(s). Applications must be running on your Mac before they appear on the iPhone app to be bookmarked. Remote customization feels odd: resizing buttons is difficult on the small iPhone screen, the editor could use a “duplicate button” and “align” option (for lining up several buttons). Installing custom remotes takes several steps. I’ve also gotten stuck in places, like double-tapping an icon on the bottom turns all the other bottom icons grey and it took me a while to figure out double-tapping on the same icon turns this off (this is a feature?).
Since hooking up a Mac Mini to the television I’ve been on a quest for a good iPhone computer control app. Snatch is a great contender. Despite the lack of polish and the feeling that some of its features aren’t as straightforward as they could be, the ability to create your own remote control layout essentially means the sky’s the limit – one could create a personal, peculiarly nutty remote layout that’s ideal for your own obsessive home entertainment needs. Recommended.
iTunes App Store Link:
iTunes App Store Link (Snatch Test):