Chrome Remote Desktop gains audio, comes out of beta

Just over a year ago, Google introduced, in beta form, an interesting Chrome extension dubbed Chrome Remote Desktop. The extension provided cross-platform Remote Desktop-like functionality, allowing someone with Windows, OS X, Linux, or Chrome OS to control another machine running any of those operating systems.

Google updated the official Chrome blog late yesterday to announce that Chrome Remote Desktop has now been taken out of beta. The extension has also gained a couple of useful new features, as Chrome Product Manager Stephen Konig explains:

New features include the addition of a real time audio feed (on Windows). This can be handy if you want to listen to that MP3 music collection you have stored on a computer at home. Now you can also copy-and-paste between your local and remote computers.

Konig stresses that the extension works on the new Samsung Chromebook, too, which features an ARM processor and a $249 price tag. I guess Intel processors aren’t a requirement.

Chrome users can grab Chrome Remote Desktop right here from the Chrome Web Store. Judging by the 4.5-star average rating, users of the extension are pretty pleased with it. Some enthusiasm is to be expected, of course, since Windows’ built-in Remote Desktop functionality still requires a "Pro" version of the operating system to host sessions, even with Windows 8. A free browser extension certainly beats a paid OS upgrade.

Comments closed
    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Teamviewer and Logmein both have free versions that are less limited than Windows Remote Desktop, so other than running entirely within Chrome I’m wondering what this brings to the table. Anybody familiar with this and either of those care to do a compare-and-contrast? (Logmein, in particular, has a lot of added features — and even more in the paid version — that make it especially handy for certain scenarios. I love that I can quickly see when a remote machine has last run Windows Update and what, if any, updates are remaining to install, for example)

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Wasn’t someone saying yesterday that they’d be disappointed if Microsoft doesn’t deliver this functionality between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone?

    • swiffer
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve set up my family members with this extension for remote assistance, but one can also set up the extension to work like traditional remote desktop across computers they own (with the installation of a Google background service so Chrome doesn’t have to be running).

    Unlike Microsoft Remote Desktop, it handles connecting to machines with multiple monitors with grace, simply showing you the actual aspect ratio of the remote desktop resized to fit your local monitor. Hurray for not having to move all your windows and icons back to their respective monitors when you get back home!

    • Agharta (Remastered)
    • 7 years ago

    This seemingly isn’t a substitute for Remote Desktop but more akin to Remote Assistance. I say this because the documentation says it works on a one time basis unless that can be changed?

      • Andrewpc1
      • 7 years ago

      You can change it to automatically accept using the same password your choose

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      There are two modes that it can be used as, a Remote Assistance Mode or a Remote Connection mode. The Remote Connection mode allows you to use it as you would with a dedicated RDP connection.

    • dmjifn
    • 7 years ago

    This is one of their “browser apps”, right? Maybe I just need more flexibility in my personal paradigms but it kind of bugs me that they are turning their browser into an application platform. Meditate.

      • Andrewpc1
      • 7 years ago

      The main reason for this “software” is for the chromebooks. A by product of that is that it works for everyone using chrome.

      I use it all the time and love it, great software. The only problem I have is that there needs to be a better way to handle multiple screen desktops from a smaller laptop screen, but I don’t think anyone has a great way of handling that.

        • dmjifn
        • 7 years ago

        I’m sure it probably is good just because so many of google’s products seem both useful [i<]and[/i<] well-written. In fact, if it performs very well, I might even use it in preference to Dropbox since I use the latter exclusively for synchronizing rather than for sharing. Agreed, it's a natural for chromebooks and also agreed that that's probably the main driver. When you add in a lot of the other software google is delivering this way, it's pretty much looking like your tablet app store for the PC, and Chrome becoming the virtual-tablet-machine. Step 1: Turn on machine. Step 2: Boot into Windows (linux, macos) Step 3: "Boot" into Chrome, where the remainder of your experience lies. It's that paradigm shift I'm not sure I'm comfortable with, even though I have to admire the practicality (and likely eventuality) of it.

          • UberGerbil
          • 7 years ago

          Well, that was the paradigm Microsoft was so afraid of when they started the Browser War — once you’re “booting into the browser” the OS becomes irrelevant, and appliances like the Chromebook become inevitable, potentially ubiquitous, and possibly inescapable — which is probably where the roots of your paranoia lie.

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            Probably some. And some of the FUD others dredged up around the MS Win8 app store – e.g., platform lockout – may factor in. Also, I’m finding that I’ve become [i<]dependent[/i<] on google's software which was fine when I was delighted with the changes they were making. But now I'm not, and I'm more concerned about privacy and personal information security now than I was as well. Again, probably something I just need to get over. Afterall, I'm OK trusting all of my money with banks in different states run by people I've never met just because it's "the way" now and consumer protection laws exist. Why not my data? 🙂

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            There’s a pretty wide gulf, heck let’s call it an ocean, between banking regulation laws and electronic data consumer protection laws.

      • Helmore
      • 7 years ago

      It’s an extension. You’re probably at least familiar with extensions like AdBlock Plus and the like for Chrome and Firefox, well this is just like that. It just offers some unusual functionality.

        • dmjifn
        • 7 years ago

        Understood. I’m referring more to the logical conclusion of this that my paranoid mind has dreamed up, as I mention above.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve used it and I *highly* recommend it for many purposes. It is fully cross-platform (runs great under Linux) and provides very nice performance and an easy interface.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<](runs great under Linux)[/quote<] Client wise perhaps. It doesn't allow you to setup a remote connection to a linux desktop, remote assistance only which sucks *ss. [quote<] You can't configure a Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Linux, or Chrome OS machine for remote access.[/quote<] [quote<][b<]This is an intentional restriction.[/b<] Sharing your computer for remote access requires Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later. However, you can access a computer remotely from any device that runs Chrome.[/quote<] Once again google screwing over the community that provides them with so much.

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