If you have been using the LogMeIn Ignition application as a cool way to run Windows 7 on the iPad, you now can do even more with it.
LogMeIn revealed today that it has just finished an update to the LogMeIn Ignition app for the
iPad that adds a major new feature called File Manager.
Basically, now, in addition to allowing you to control a remote computer over the Internet using an iPad, the app also enables you to view and transfer files back and forth between the iPad and the remote computer.
I tried out the new version of the app and it worked very well. Once logged in, you have the options of controlling the remote computer or accessing its data. When the latter is picked, you're able to view the entire contents of the computer's entire hard drive or drives, including even hidden files and folders. Files and folders are organized somewhat like photo albums, and supported files (namely those for which the reader apps are installed on the iPad, such as photo, text, or PDFs) can be opened directly from the remote computer.
You can also copy files and even folders from the remote computer onto the iPad. To do this, you can just Tab to the file or folder to select it, then tap on the copy (or move) button. Multiple files or folders can be copied, moved, or deleted at a time.
When a single file or folder is selected, you also have the option to rename it. Once a file or folder has been copied to the iPad, you can then copy or move it to another remote computer. Folders can also be updated with the original versions on the remote computer.
Unfortunately, you can't transfer files originally stored on the iPad, such as photos in its photo library, to the remote computer; nor can you put photos or videos from the remote computer into the iPad's libraries. This means each time you want to view files that you have copied from a remote computer, you'll need to run the LogMeIn Ignition app.
To make up for this, the app enables you to work with multiple computers at a time, including transfering files and folders directly among them, and you can switch between different computers via different windows, similar to switching between Web sites when using Safari.
So far this could be the biggest improvement of the app: now you can not only control the remote computer but also use it as something of a "cloud" data server for the iPad. Apart from the File Manager, the update also brings back the "Wake on LAN" function that was taken away with the previous update. With Wake on LAN you can turn the remote computer on via the Internet, eliminating the need to keep it running all the time.
According to LogMeIn, the update is now going through Apple's approval process and will soon be available to existing customers via Apple's App Store as a free update. The LogMeIn service can be used for free (there are also subscriptions with more features) via a Web browser. The LogMeIn Ignition app, which allows access from the iPad, on the other hand costs $30.
The app and the update also work with the iPhone and iPod Touch, via both cellular and Wi-Fi connections. With this update, the LogMeIn Ignition app is now worth its rather hefty price tag.